Unity Temple Oak Park, Illinois

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Peter Beers*
Written By Peter Beers*

Every year, part of the Wright Plus tour is the Unity Temple.  This was one of Wright’s first public building commissions.  It has been going through renovations over the last few years and is really starting to look good.

The “front” under construction.

The reason I put the word “front” in quotes is because it is almost impossible to figure out where the front of the building is.  In true Wright fashion, you’ve got to go down a narrow walk and around a few bends (on the path of discovery) before you find the entrance.

Side of the Unity Temple.

Close-up of the columns.

The building has been around for 100 years or so.  It is showing some wear and tear, but is still remarkably beautiful.

“Side” of Unity Temple in black and white.

This place is extremely photogenic.  I burned off a lot of memory cards while photographing the Temple.  I always do.

One of the best things about the Unity Temple is that they let you photograph inside the building.  This is where its beauty really starts to show through.

Fellowship Hall Lamps

Sometimes you had to look beyond old, green paint to see how great this building is.  They were about to start the process of repainting the fellowship hall when we were there.

The sanctuary is amazing.  Even with extensive water damage (which is being repaired) you can see what a wonderful place of worship this is.

Sanctuary Lights.

The lighting comes both from natural sources (from the high windows) and from these beautiful light fixtures.

View from the top.

The acoustics are fantastic in this building.  It is designed so that no matter where you sit, you’re always very close to the pulpit.  That is evident from the photos taken from high in the balcony.

This man’s voice had no problem filling a huge sanctuary with no amplification.

There are three many levels of seats.  Two balconies, one floor level row of seats and even one below floor level.

This building had a warm feeling to it with no echoes at all.

Front: May, 2003

West side: May 2003

East side with a lovely view of the parking lot:  May, 2003

If you’re in the area.  Definitely don’t miss a tour of the Unity Temple.

smith brad omni

Written by Peter Beers*

CEO & Lead Interior Designer

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of OmniHomeIdeas.com. With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.