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New Frank Lloyd Wright trail features 13 Illinois sites

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Office of Tourism has established a new self-guided architectural tour that’s dedicated to the work of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

The tourism trail includes 13 Wright-designed buildings that are open to the public, the Chicago Tribune reported. Stops include various attractions in Chicago, the Laurent House in Rockford and the Dana-Thomas House in Springfield.

Illinois Tourism has provided two suggested itineraries for visiting some of the sites, along with recommendations for local restaurants and attractions. One suggested 110-mile trip runs from Chicago to Rockford, and a 240-mile option runs from Chicago to Springfield.

“The idea is to get visitors excited about Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and get them moving from point A to point B, with the ultimate goal of having them spend more dollars in Illinois and putting heads in the beds of our communities,” said Cory Jobe, director of Illinois Tourism.

The opening of the trail is meant to build off the momentum from the 150th anniversary of Wright’s birth, Jobe said. That anniversary occurred last year.

“Interest in Frank Lloyd Wright seems to be growing, and the trail will be an even greater incentive for people to come to Illinois,” said Celeste Adams, president and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, which owns Wright’s Oak Park home and studio and operates tours at four other Chicago area sites.

Wright lived in Illinois during the first two decades of his career and is known for his American Prairie architecture style. He designed offices, churches, schools, hotels and museums, including structures like Fallingwater and the Guggenheim Museum. He died in Arizona in 1959.

Wisconsin opened its own trail featuring Wright’s work last year. Tourism officials said they saw an increase in visitors to the nine sites along the 200-mile trail, which includes Taliesin, the home, school and studio Wright built near Spring Green.

Visits to Taliesin increased 20 percent between 2016 and 2017, Wisconsin Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett said.

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