Just 16 kilometers west of downtown Chicago, Oak Park is a family-oriented suburb with tree-lined streets, historic homes and a walkable downtown district.
This idyllic community also happens to hold important cultural significance as the birthplace of American author Ernest Hemingway and the once-home of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Take the “L,” Chicago’s elevated train, to Oak Park to explore the unexpected history of this charming town.
Ernest Hemingway Birthplace
Ernest Hemingway was born July 21, 1899, in a spacious Victorian apartment in Oak Park. The apartment was built by his mother's grandparents and was the first home in town to have electricity. After it was sold in 1905, it was often used as a rental home for more than 80 years before it was purchased by the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park. Restorations began in 1992 and took eight years to complete. Take the 45-minute guided tour of the meticulously restored property and learn more about the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning author.
The home where Ernest Hemingway was born
Frank Lloyd Wright’s House and Studio
Famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright lived and worked in his Oak Park home and studio for 20 years. This is where Wright and his colleagues created the new Prairie style of architecture. Guided tours cover all the details about Wright's family life and architectural career. A self-guided audio tour in this historic Oak Park neighborhood will take you to other Wright-designed homes and buildings, including Unity Temple. Wright designed and attended this stunning church, which is considered the finest public building example of his Prairie work.