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You've probably never slept in a Frank Lloyd Wright house, unless you own one (in which case, congrats, you are rich). But now that the Emil Bach House at 7415 N Sheridan Road in Rogers Park is open to the public for tours, events and overnight stays, you can have that opportunity. Though the cost of doing so is not exactly cheap.
But let's start with how incredible this house is. One of Wright's last Chicago commissions, this 1915 home was built for Emil Bach and his wife, wealthy owners of the Bach Brick Company, as a "country" home with views of the lake. The lake views are gone, thanks to development along the lakefront, and Rogers Park is anything but country, but when you're in the home, you barely notice busy Sheridan Road. That's because Wright designed the first floor of the house to be elevated, with only small windows facing the road.
Inside, everything has been painstakingly restored to its original design, from the giant fireplace you see the moment you walk in the front door to the indoor window boxes in the living room to all the built-ins (benches, dressers, bookshelves) that are Wright signatures. A few things you'll be thankful have been modernized if you stay here: the kitchen (with a Sub-Zero fridge, no less) and the bathrooms (the maid's room on the second floor was converted into a beautiful one). But even those rooms have period touches that allow these conveniences to blend in seamlessly with the architecture.
For the furnishings, the owners went with contemporary design—after all, Wright was considered a modern designer in his time. The three bedroooms on the second floor each have their own balcony and, while the bedrooms are small, the enormous windows make you feel like you're in a treehouse. The side and back yards are massive (well, for the city) and include a Japanese-style "tea house," which is equipped with tables and bench seating for large events.
Okay, so what does this all cost to rent? Before June 1, the nightly rate is $750, with a five-person maximum per night (all five must be under the same reservation). On June 1, the rate jumps to $1,495 per night. Similarly, for events like weddings, it's $750 for the first four hours before June 1, then becomes $1,495 for the first four hours. Call 773-764-9851 or visit emilbachhouse.com for more info.
Can't afford those rates but still want to check out the house? From May 7–Sept 24, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust is leading tours every Wednesday from 11am–3pm. The 45-minute tours ($12, students, seniors and active military $10) begin every 15 minutes. More info at flywright.org.