Tour of Bruce Goff's Ford House - July 13

Open House at Bruce Goff's Ford House
Saturday, July 13
3:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Aurora, Illinois

Bruce Goff’s work often defies definition and his Ford House is a prime example of a building without precedent: Quonset hut ribs, marbles, rope and a 70-foot wall of coal combine to create three soaring circular spaces. Join the Conservancy on Saturday, July 13 for a tour at this unique house and watch as the sun shines through, making the interior sparkle. Sidney Robinson, longtime owner and professor emeritus of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and University of Illinois at Chicago, will be present to talk about the house and answer questions. Light food and refreshments for the afternoon will be provided. Although it is not included in the Ford House tour, the Conservancy has arranged for group-rate tickets ($10) at Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House, located close by in Plano, Illinois. To make your own arrangements, please call the Farnsworth House (630.552.0052) for reservations.

Registration for the Ford House Tour is $20 for members / $35 for non-members. Non-members who join at the friend level ($50) will receive a complimentary registration. Proceeds benefit the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.

Bruce Goff designed the Ford house in Aurora in the late 1940s for Ruth and Sam Ford, a watercolor painter and a gas utilities engineer. Having recently returned from the engineering corps of the Navy, Goff incorporated materials that referenced nautical images, using rope nailed to the ceilings, lapped cypress boards and green glass chunks that gave an underwater green glow to the interior. He also used steel Quonset hut ribs as the structure and a 70-foot wall of coal. The unusual materials with their strong colors and varied textures are disciplined by the rigor of the circular geometry. The result is an environment that is both stimulating and calming. The dialog between natural and industrial materials, between interior and exterior, between rigor and freedom makes a domestic setting that is endlessly engaging. The unusual vertical axes at the center of three domes culminate in light at the top of the main circular volume as well as the quarter circle bedrooms in the second and third domes.

Although Goff never signed on as an apprentice at Taliesin, he had contacted Wright as a young man and the two architects kept track of the other as their careers developed. Goff freely admitted how much he valued Wright's example even though he independently developed his style in a different direction.

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