Frederick C. Robie House
The Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago, a national landmark. This is Frank Lloyd Wright second-most famous house (1910). It was designed in 1909, shortly before Wright left America after leaving his wife for Mamah Cheney. It was an elaboration of the F. F. Tomek house he designed in Riverside in 1908. Robie was the assistant manager of Exclesior Supply Company, and allowed Wright a large budget of $60,000 (over $1.3 million in today's dollars). Robie only lived in the house for 14 months before his marriage fell apart. After changing hands a few times over 15 years, the house was sold to the Chicago Theological Seminary, who used it as a dormitory. The Seminary made plans to demolish the house, but these plans were foiled when a graduate student at the Illinois Institute of Technology overheard them and protested to his instructor, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. He was able to stall the plans until World War II began. After the war, the Seminary again made plans for demolition, and Wright himself returned to the house to stage a protest. During the protests, a Hyde Park alderman created the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, which was signed into law by Richard J. Daley in 1971, and the Robie House was among the first landmarks. Real estate developer William Zeckendorf eventually purchased the house from the Seminary and donated it to the University of Chicago, which donated the house to the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust in 1997, who completely restored the building in 2002.