Equal parts voyeurism and inspiration, home tours offer a peek into the (perfectly appointed) lives of others. There are options aplenty in Chicago this fall, from an architect’s iconic abode in Oak Park to a festival that takes you behind the scenes of more than 250 Chicago-area buildings.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust operates tours and programs at five Wright-designed sites in the Chicagoland area, including his home and studio in Oak Park. Over the course of an hour, guides share the story of Wright’s early career — including the ways he used this home to experiment with design concepts and how he and his associates came to develop his trademark Prairie style. Daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 951 Chicago Ave., Oak Park
This tour explores the architectural prowess of Henry Hobson Richardson through the lens of a home belonging to John Glessner and his wife Frances — cultural leaders in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Docents guide visitors through the Glessners’ collection of furniture and decorative objects, while sharing stories about the family and facts about Richardson and his pioneering style. Wednesdays through Sundays at 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m., 1800 S. Prairie Ave., Chicago
This free, two-day public event was created to showcase new neighborhoods to Chicagoans and visitors alike via behind-the-scenes access to some of the city’s most exciting digs (think repurposed mansions, state-of-the-art skyscrapers, and majestic theaters). More than 250 sites will be open for this year’s event, which has grown to become the largest citywide architecture festival in North America. Oct. 13 and 14
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Nicole Schnitzler is a freelance writer who covers food, drink, travel, and lifestyle. When she is not planning her next adventure, she can be found commuting between bakeries, yoga classes, live music shows, and libraries in her hometown of Chicago. She is most comfortable with a pen in one hand and a fork in the other. Nicole is also the founder of Doors Open Dishes, an initiative committed to keeping the doors open to the group homes and workshops of individuals with special needs by partnering with chefs and restaurants across the city. Follow her on Twitter (@Write_To_Eat) or on Instagram (@WriteToEat).