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farnsworth house

Ticking items off my “Chicago” bucket list – today I drove out to Plano, IL to see the Farnsworth House – one of Mies Van der Rohe’s most famous creations.  I purposely wanted to visit in the fall, so I’ve been saving this one for a while and boy did I luck out today! Sunny, 70º and peak foliage made for the most perfect experience.  The only thing that would have made it better is if I had known that they only allow photographs inside the house on the weekends after the 3pm tour – oh well, I managed to snap one with my iPhone anyway.  ( rule breaker… oopsie! )

Upon arrival you are in this little gift shop/office building, greeted by our guide and then walked down a half mile path to arrive at the house.  The guide talked about the size of the property, how the owner came to choose this location along the Fox River, how she met Mies and the relationship they had during the several years of planning and building. Unfortunately their relationship ended in a lawsuit.  The house was projected to cost $45K and ended up around $75K and at that time apparently could have bought you any house in the greater Chicagoland area (wow!).  The house took somewhere around 5600 hours of architectural planning time – the fee for that today would build you a skyscraper! And the saddest part of the whole thing to me was that the owner, Edith Farnsworth, didn’t like staying in the home she spent so much time and money to build with Mies.  The house became so famous that she would find people lurking around the property – looking in on her!  I wouldn’t love that either, but I would love sitting in a chair watching the leaves or snow fall – kind of like being in a giant snow globe!  Dreamy! Simply dreamy! farnsworth

Isn’t it just amazing? Now you know why I wanted to visit in the Fall… farnsworth1

rome : piazza navona

I am finally working my way through the zillions of photos from my trip to Italy and rather than doing one giant post, I have decided to focus on the special places / moments during our trip.

So we began our trip with an evening wandering through the Piazza Navona.  It’s a vibrant place to be – lots of people just sitting and enjoying each others company over food, drink and some of the most beautiful architecture and fountains.  I absolutely love the details in Italy – flowers on the balconies, decorative house numbers, the color of shutters and doors and little moments of religious figures on the building facades. I really wish I knew why they do this – to bless the inhabitants?  And how do they decide what the figure will be, how prominent it will be and where it is placed?

Oh and did you know that property cost increased with the number of windows a building has .. so if you look around, you will notice windows are painted onto buildings (see fourth row photo below) this was their way of saving money. Crazy fact I never knew before!

More to come… piazzanavona