Rollin Furbeck House (1897)
515 Fair Oaks

View from Fair Oaks
Originally, the Rollin Furbeck House was a wedding present for Rollin Judson Furbeck from his stockbroker father, Warren F. Furbeck, in 1897. Rollin was the third of five sons. That same year, Warren also gave his first son, George, a Wright house located in Oak Park at 223 North Euclid as a wedding gift. Most likely, Rollin's mother, Sophia Wapples Furbeck, was the one who made the decision to use Wright as the architect. According to the May 7, 1897 issue of the Oak Park Vindicator, Judson L. Wapples sold the land to his son-in-law in 1896, and construction began the following spring. The land was purchased for $2,250, and the house was built for $6,000.
Rollin and his wife, Elizabeth, lived at their home for about one year, when they sold it and moved into another house designed by George W. Maher at a cost of $12,000. This house was once again financed by Rollin's father. In November of 1899, Rollin moved to New York City, where as a member of the New York Stock Exchange he headed the east coast offices of the newly-founded W. F. Furbeck Company. Rollin's brother, George, lived in his home until September of 1899, when he moved to another house. Since the time of the original owners, The Rollin Furbeck House has transferred ownership several times.

The home is located in Oak Park's Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie School of Architecture Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2003, the home was designated a local landmark by the Historic Preservation Commission.

Whatever the brothers really thought about their new houses, each house has historical significance, as they marked the beginning of Wright's three year period of experimentation that by 1900 had emerged into Wright's modern style.

Premonitions of that style appear in the Rollin Furbeck House in its solid rectangular masses, its horizontal accenuated stucco band between brick wall and roof, and in its hip roof of low pitch.

Aspects of this house eventually abandoned by Wright in his modern style include the narrow three story center section, its octagonal columns, and the complex brickwork of base course, porch piers and walls.

Southwest View


The Historic Preservation Commission of the Village of Oak Park has bestowed two Historic Preservation Awards (1989 and 1995) for efforts to restore this home to its original elegance.

The Rollin Furbeck House has been a featured tour house in WRIGHT PLUS (Oak Park's well-known annual housewalk), in the years 1986, 1990, 1994, 2002, and 2005.

It is a featured house in numerous books and publications about the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.

A more detailed description of the house is available, courtsey of the current owners.