Unity Temple in Oak Park is a Unitarian Universalist Church designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It was built between 1905 and 1908, from reinforced concrete, and has been a United States National Historic Landmark since 1971.
Last Friday morning my Mother-in-Law picked me up from my home and we drove south to Oak Park to visit the building. We had been meaning to visit for some time, but our schedules had never quite matched up so that we could go together.
The outside of the building is bold and imposing, set on a busy street, it would be difficult to miss it when approaching. Despite the humidity that day, the cloud cover was perfect for seeing how the light sweeps across the concrete exterior, and even the shadows made by parts of the building appear to be a part of the design.
The interior was softer than the exterior. It held the same kind of bold lines and symmetry but the colours and use of wood made it seem more delicate somehow. Even outside of the main part of the temple, in the classrooms, hallways and kitchens, the light flowed beautifully through every window. I wondered what the light would have looked like before the more modern buildings beside the temple were built.
The main part of the temple was breathtaking. We walked around it several times and even had the pleasure of listening to someone play the piano beautifully in there. The acoustics were absolutely perfect and I found the entire space to be wonderfully inspiring. If you are in the Chicago area, it is somewhere that I absolutely recommend you visit.