Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House, Plano: Hours, Address, Farnsworth House Reviews: 5/5

Farnsworth House
5
Speciality & Gift Shops • Historic Sites • Architectural Buildings
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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
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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.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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5.0
133 reviews
Excellent
115
Very good
15
Average
3
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Indy-ND
South Bend, IN3,362 contributions
Sep 2020
I like to take road trips and one of the reasons I like them so mush is because I love to take pictures of places and things. I came across the Farnsworth House while looking into Fallingwater. I had seen the house in photos before, but didn't realize it was relatively close to me. So, I added it to the road trip stops.

It was $20 for the tour (plus fees) and that's about what I would expect for something like this. It's slightly highbrow and charging a bit more keeps out people that aren't really interested in seeing it and would not be respectful of what it is. Basically, if you are paying $20 each to go, you're going to be smart enough not to touch anything.

The tour starts at the gift shop and you walk down a trail, over a creek to the edge of the yard at the house. You meet your guide (who was awesome) and she took us to a few spots outside to tell us the history of the planning, construction, who has owned it and what has happened to the property over the years. All of it is very interesting.

You then head up onto the porch, take off your shoes and then head in. Since we are going through "this virus thing", we had to wear masks and she told us to disperse around the house so we weren't on top of each other. It worked well. I managed pictures of everything I wanted with nobody blocking my views. It's a really interesting house.

Once we had our fill inside, we were free to walk around the property and check out the trails and stuff. I checked out the boat house, the pool, and the tennis courts, which are all disused. I made my way back to the gift shop and checked out the round building next door that houses a wardrobe that was to be in the house. There is a reason that it isn't in the house, but I won't spoil the stories.

I did pick up a book on the house and my usual magnet and stuff. The gift shop is excellent for architecture fans. There is also a wall that has the history of the house and it's timeline. From check in to me leaving, it was about 2:15 total time. I could have spent more time checking out the river and getting more photographs, but I needed to head to my next destination.
Written September 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MomRocco
Chicago, IL472 contributions
Apr 2021
Definitely pay the fee to get the guided tour otherwise you'll miss learning about the design, construction and related history. We visited during the time when a portion of the exterior deck was being renovated so there was noise and dust. However, once our tour group entered the house it was magical. The vistas are incredible and really cannot be captured by just looking at photos. This is a real gem!
Written May 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

John N
Houston, TX44 contributions
Aug 2021
I LOVED Farnsworth House. Our tour guide, Joan, was FANTASTIC - she was knowledgeable and told stories and info about the house in an engaging and enjoyable way. Definitely worth the drive when visiting the Chicago area. Make sure you use Google Maps NOT Apple maps for GPS driving instructions as the route Apple will take you on includes the closed road which is under construction. If you are any sort of fan of architecture, the Farnsworth house is a must see - you will be charmed by the setting, history, and beauty of this unique house.
Written August 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mark R
4 contributions
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.

Emala
Wheaton, IL160 contributions
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.

Organist1
6 contributions
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.

Betsy
Sandwich, IL6 contributions
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.
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, IL115 contributions
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.

jjctraveler
Chesterfield, MO3,827 contributions
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.

Michael K
Saint Louis, MO347 contributions
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.
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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Frequently Asked Questions about Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House is open:
  • Sun - Sun 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tue - Fri 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Sat - Sat 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM