Farnsworth House
Farnsworth House
5
Speciality & Gift ShopsHistoric SitesArchitectural Buildings
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Glass and steel residence notoriously designed by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for Dr. Edith Farnsworth. Famous for its "almost-nothing" design and the legal battle between architect and client, the House is an architectural pilgrimage site for students and professionals from around the world. Open for public tours as a National Trust for Historic Preservation Historic Site. Part of the National Register of Historic Places.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles137 reviews
Excellent
118
Very good
15
Average
3
Poor
0
Terrible
1

Emala
Wheaton, IL172 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
Our excellent guide was a retired architect. He started out by speaking for a full 30 minutes of background info on Ms. Farnsworth and Mr. Pei. We social distanced with masks outside the house. Then he took us inside - AC- and gave us plenty of time to view the interior. We were a group of 9, including 3 architects from Mexico. Wonderful tour.
Written August 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mark R
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
An architectural gem in a peaceful, beautiful setting. Jason our guide was knowledgeable, patient and enjoyable. There is much interesting ado about Ms. Farnsworth and Mies, but once you start walking, that fades to the beauty and peace of a remarkable house in a remarkable setting.
Written August 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Organist1
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
Wonderful tour with our guide Stafford. The history and detail about construction were excellent. We were lucky to be there on a beautiful day, so you could imagine Dr. Farnsworth and Mies van de Rohe picnicing on the property. Well worth the drive out.
Written August 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alyssa
Chicago, IL57 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and enjoyable! The house and grounds are beautiful. What a gem. I was impressed by the visitor's center and gift shop. We went during the holidays and paid extra to see the Christmas decorations. I had hoped the decor would be of the time period of the house, but it was modern and unimpressive (think Amazon). A couple things to keep in mind: you will walk to the house and the majority of the tour is outside. Shoes must be removed before entering the home. The path was very muddy.
Written December 28, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

susan h
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Friends
A jewel hidden in the Midwest Not to be missed. Courteous helpful staff(one family member disabled). Tour docent very knowledgeable . To those travelers who see the Midwest as flyover country you are missing a great deal.
Written September 3, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Betsy
Sandwich, IL6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018
I loved the docent and the stories. The house is incredible. It really is glass all around! A treat you will want to see at least once in your life.
Written August 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for the 5/5 rating! We're very glad you enjoyed your tour!
Written October 10, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

HenryS739
Warrenville, IL112 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019 • Couples
The winter tour uses a shuttle van to get you from the visitors center to the house.
The attraction is both the architectural design of the house built by Mies van der Rohe and the relationship/conflict between the architect and Dr. Edith Farnsworth. I implore you to read the story boards at the visitor center while you are waiting for the tour to begin. I did and immediately thought of the battle of design vs. function between both parties. Miels definitely built a modern home ahead of its time (1951) with huge glass windows on the exterior on a concrete slab which was suspended by I-beams. I can emphasize with Edith, due both to budget constraints & design conflicts.
Definitely a interesting place to visit.
Written January 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jjctraveler
Chesterfield, MO3,926 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
If you are interested in architecture or engineering, the Mies van der Rohe designed Farnsworth House is a “must see” attraction. But if you have young kids or could care less about architecture, you are best to skip it.
I’m not going to go into the history of the house; you can read that at farsnworthhouse.org. At the web site you can view all the tours, and they tell you when a tour is sold out. You need advance reservations and each ticket is $20, plus a service charge if you order over the web. Plan to arrive 30-40 minutes before your tour. Make sure to have the directions off the web, it can be difficult to find. When you arrive, you park in a gravel parking lot in a farm field. The visitor’s center is a metal shed at the end of the parking lot that doesn’t look like much on the outside, but is very nice on the inside with a gift shop, small theater area and rest rooms, but no food. The film runs continuously and has a good overview of the history of the house in 20-30 minutes. The gift shop has a large selection of architecture books. The bathrooms are unisex, so you can choose either one!

The Tour
To get to the house, you walk down a bark covered trail through the woods and over a creek. Part of the trail is just grass, it takes about 10-15 minutes to walk the ¼ mile and is very pretty. Once you get to the original property line, you can see the house. The guide will talk about the exterior and the relationship to the river. There are lots of great photo opportunities as you approach the house. You will then walk to the terrace and hear more about the house. You have to stay on the trail (poison ivy). Then you go up to the terrace and remove your shoes. They are benches to sit on, and socks if you need them. The floor of the house is marble with some carpet and the house is air conditioned in the summer. It is not uncomfortable walking on the marble with socks, it almost feels soft. Photography is not allowed inside the house, but our guide let us take pictures from outside through the glass.
You would expect a glass house to be harsh, but it isn’t. The house is very clean and calming due to the design. The view is wonderful with trees, lawn and the river, and it is easy to see Ms. Farnsworth sitting here on weekends reading and relaxing from her job in the city. The tour gives you plenty of time to explore the house and take in all the views. You cannot sit on the furniture inside the house, but there are benches on the terrace if you need to rest
After going through the house, our tour guide showed us the underside of the house, and let us wander around the grounds behind the house and take pictures for about 10 minutes. The total tour was about 90 minutes.
I have been debating going to the Farnsworth House for several years because I thought it was overpriced. But now that I have seen it, the tour is definitely worth it. Our tour guide was great and very patient, and showed many details of the house that would normally be missed. For the architecture or engineering buff, I highly recommend this tour.
Written June 17, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Corb2000
Yorkshire, UK659 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
This is one of a kind being the first glass pavilion home, now much copied. My visit coincided with unusually early snowfall which delayed my arrival. I was in touch with the visitor centre and they were flexible in the timing of my guided tour which was much appreciated given that travelling to Plano was a fairly large detour in my itinerary.
As it turned out I was their only visitor that afternoon so I was lead on a personal tour by the docent. The snowy setting combined with autumn leaves made for some delightful interior and exterior photos.
Good points:
+ While there are plenty of copies, there really is no substitute for an original Mies Van der Rohe
+ Excellent staff with many interesting stories regarding the ownership periods of both Dr Farnsworth and Peter Palumbo
+ Delightful riverside setting (while the nearby road bridge is an unwelcome feature it is fairly well screened)
+ Small visitor centre
Not so good points:
- A little out on a limb and difficult to combine a visit here with any other heritage sites, so you really need to want to see an original MVDR to make it worth it
Written November 20, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MichaelKohn1
Saint Louis, MO368 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
This is a "must See" for anyone interested in the Bauhaus Movement or Mid century modern architecture. Plano IL is about 60 miles southwest of Chicago and not too difficult to find. The docent (Dennis) was great and I learned a lot. This is one of two Mies Houses open to the public. A true architectural masterpiece. The house is about 1/2 mile from the visitor center/gift shop so plan accordingly.
Written September 2, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for the 5/5 rating! We're very glad you enjoyed your tour! Unfortunately, Dennis has retired but we have many other great guides ready to share the story of Farnsworth House!
Written October 10, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Farnsworth House - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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