The Edith Farnsworth House is located in Plano, Illinois just outside of Chicago. This Mies van der Rohe designed masterpiece is a pilgrimage site for architects and designers world-wide and is considered one of the most important Modern assets in the United States. The National Trust for Historic Preservation and select Chicago leaders came together in 2003 to purchase the home to ensure it remained in its inspired and original place along the banks of the Fox River.
While visually minimal, the house‘s structure is extremely complex and interrelated. First conceived in 1945 as a country retreat for the client, Dr. Edith Farnsworth, the house as finally built appears as a structure of Platonic perfection against a complementary ground of informal landscape. This landscape is an integral aspect of Mies van der Rohe’s aesthetic conception. The house faces the Fox River just to the south and is raised 5 feet 3 inches above the ground, its thin, white I-beam supports contrasting with the darker, sinuous trunks of the surrounding trees. The calm stillness of the man-made object contrasts also with the subtle movements, sounds, and rhythms of water, sky and vegetation.
The house museum welcomes over 10,000 guests annually from all over the world. It is owned and operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a house museum. It is open to the public and available for private events.