Just down the street from the Fricke house is the Furbeck House. Though it was not on the Wright Plus 2001 tour, it was very photogenic and shouldn’t be left out of this tour. The Furbeck house was originally designed and constructed in 1897 and later remodeled in 1907. It was one of the first Wright homes not built on a square or rectangular plan.
The Furbeck house is HUGE!
William Allin Storrer adds some history to the Rollin Furbeck house in his book “The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion”. Warren Furbeck was a stockbroker and decided that 2 of his 5 sons deserved rather impressinve wedding gifts. Rollin received this home as his wedding gift, and his brother, George received a different Wright house located elsewhere in Oak Park. It makes you wonder what the other 3 sons got.
Storrer also adds that Rollin only lived in this house for a year before selling it and moving to a new home, then again a year later to New York to be a stockbroker.
Furbeck’s owners have put a lot into its restoration which was completed in the 1980s. Hopefully it will be on the tour some time in the future.
Side view: May, 2003
Front view: May, 2003
The Rollin Furbeck house shares a lot in common with the Isadore Heller house located near the University of Chicago. It is another of the few homes that Wright did with a third floor. It is built on a square floor plan with the dramatic overhanging eaves that Wright became famous for in his Prairie designs. The pillars on the third floor seem to be a lingering influence of Louis Sullivan that appear in a few homes of this genre, but are gone by the time the Prairie homes are designed (also from Storrer’s book).
Great view of the pillars: May, 2003