Unity Church Society

November 22nd, 2021|

The road to design and completion of Unity Temple was hard and slow. By September 26,1909, almost 4 and a half years after the old church was destroyed in the fire, the completed building was

Concrete Column Capitals

September 28th, 2021|

Lacking any other exterior ornamentation, the geometric forms cast into the concrete columns tucked under the eaves of Unity Temple catch your eye. Having parted ways about 10 years earlier with his former employer and

The Gale Family

August 16th, 2021|

The lot upon which Unity Temple was constructed was purchased from a prominent congregation member, Edwin O. Gale. The Gale family had deep roots in Chicago and the Oak Park area and a much stronger

A Personal Perspective on Unity Temple

August 4th, 2021|

“Architects may come, and architects may go, and never change your point of view.  When I run dry, I’ll stop awhile and think of you.”  Poet and songwriter Paul Simon, from So long, Frank Lloyd

Wright’s use of Froebel Blocks

July 8th, 2021|

For anyone wanting to broaden their understanding of Frank Lloyd Wright’s design philosophy and techniques, I highly recommend an important book: Inventing Kindergarten by Norman Brosterman (Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1997). I think the book

Post Office Neighbor

June 16th, 2021|

When Unity Temple was constructed, it was surrounded by houses with the exception of the First Congregational Church and Scoville Institute across the street. Oak Park was experiencing rapid growth during the time Unity Temple

Roberts & Wright Collaborations

June 8th, 2021|

Charles Roberts had many interests and activities: inventor, manufacturer, educator, and musician to name but a few. Of these wide ranging activities, his role as chair of the building committee following the 1905 fire that

Hillside at Taliesin

May 24th, 2021|

Until Covid-19, I worked for 25 years in various capacities at Taliesin Preservation, including as its historian. When asked to write something here, I remembered the connection between Unity Temple and the Hillside Home School

Two for One: Memories of Unity Temple

May 3rd, 2021|

As a preservation architect who was raised in Oak Park, it is impossible NOT to have memories of Unity Temple.  So, I’ll share a “two for one” memory.  In the early years of practice as

Victorian Society of America

April 5th, 2021|

As Director of the Victorian Society in America Chicago Summer School program, I have the opportunity to visit many unforgettable buildings in Chicago and the surrounding area. There are several “must see” sites on this

Two Fires Produce Two New Churches

March 25th, 2021|

It is easy to find contrasting architectural styles throughout Oak Park. The starkest contrasts are often between the steeply peaked roofs and turrets of Victorian structures and the horizontal lines of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie

Unity Temple – A Visual Interpretation

March 16th, 2021|

I was invited to photograph Unity Temple in Oak Park a year ago by Heidi Ruehle, Executive Director of the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation, at the annual Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy conference. I took

The Wrights and Augusta Chapin

March 1st, 2021|

It is well known that Frank Lloyd Wright came from a family of Unitarians and that he designed Unity Temple while he was living in Oak Park in the home he designed located on Forest

How Did He Dream It?

February 15th, 2021|

Contributor Peggy Lami was captured on a first visit to Unity Temple in March of 1985, leading to decades of Wright+ station tours, custom group tours, docent training lectures, and Froebel Blocks workshops. Scroll through

Who Was Edward Ehrman?

February 2nd, 2021|

On June 9, 1905, only five days after the fire which destroyed the old Unity Church, the congregation voted unanimously to build a new edifice. The committee on the construction of the new church was

The Noble Room

January 21st, 2021|

I had been involved with the Wright Home and Studio pretty much since square one and had just served a few months on its Board when I was elected to the Village Board in 1977. 

In the Beginning

January 5th, 2021|

In the BeginningSometime in the late Spring of 1975, I began leading tours at Unity Temple. It was shortly after what is now the Frank Lloyd Trust had begun restoring the Home & Studio. In

“Cement Gun” Invention

December 14th, 2020|

Shotcrete was used to repair the concrete façade of Unity Temple in the 1970s and again during the recent restoration completed in 2017. This product has an interesting local history. The original dry version of

A Temple Made of Light

November 29th, 2020|

Wood, concrete, steel, and glass.If someone were to ask you what a building is constructed from, these are the likely the first elements that would come to mind. In a Frank Lloyd Wright work, however,

Cloisters of Unity Temple

November 19th, 2020|

Wright is much like a cinematographer in the way he evokes emotions with architecture. This is nowhere more evident than at Unity Temple where his “path of discovery” and “compression and release” techniques are used

Tendai Buddhist Experience Unity Temple

November 9th, 2020|

I served on the Board of Directors for about ten years of the late 80’s into the 90’s; primarily keeping an eye on marketing, publications and institutional branding.Together, the Board decided to focus on Wright’s

Emerson, Wright, and Unity Temple

October 27th, 2020|

Unity Temple anecdote—November, 2020Many of us longtime interpreters at the Home & Studio and at Unity Temple have stories to tell about exceptional tour experiences. A memorable one for me happened in the spring of