The Fabyan Villa was the home of Colonel George and Nelle Fabyan from 1905-1939. Riverbank, the name they bestowed upon their property, was initially a country retreat from their home in Chicago. They hired Frank Lloyd Wright in 1907 to enlarge and re-model the existing farmhouse and shortly thereafter took up permanent residence at the Villa, as they called their home. They acquired 300 acres, creating a country estate which soon became a lavish showplace complete with fountains, gardens, a Roman-style swimming pool, a Dutch-style windmill, a private zoo, a working lighthouse, a boathouse, tennis courts, and more. The Fabyans pursued their varied interests on their estate, including horticulture, animal husbandry, and scientific research.
When visiting the Villa Museum, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, you will discover the Fabyans’ uniquely fascinating legacy. The Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie-style house contains the Fabyans’ private collection of Asian artifacts, natural history specimens, original furniture and more! Documents and photographs detail George’s involvement in the Treaty of Portsmouth and Japanese international relations, the Bacon/Shakespeare controversy, code-breaking that significantly influenced both World Wars and pioneering research and development in acoustics. The captivating combination of significant architecture, military intrigue, Japanese culture and personal exploration makes the Fabyan Villa Museum a unique experience for all ages.
A public tour of the Fabyan Villa museum is led by trained docents, lasts approximately 40-45 minutes, and visits the 1st and 2nd floor. The first floor visitors are introduced to the Fabyan history, Frank Lloyd Wright design and be able visit the living quarters and admire the Asian art and mounted animal collection. When reaching the second floor visitors will see more Fabyan owned and period arts and crafts style furniture along with amazing views of the estate out the wonderfully Wright designed Cathedral Style windows. For hours of operation, directions and specific information regarding public tours of the Fabyan Villa Museum please click here.
Private tours are led by trained staff/docents and are specifically tailored to complement your group’s interests. Groups of 8 or more MUST make advance reservations. Private group tours are available April till November during non-regular hours/days. Check out the Fabyan Tours Listing (PDF) to find out what type of private tours we offer. 2017 Tour Fee: $5.00 – adult / $4.00 – senior (65+) & children. Minimum group tour fee: $25.00. To set up a private tour for your group please call 630.377.6424 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can bring the Fabyan sites to you throughout the year with our in-depth presentations. The current programs available are: The Fabyans and their Fabulous Estate, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie style at the Fabyan Villa and Fabyan Japanese Garden – Images of Tranquility. $50 fee per presentation. These programs generally range from 45 minutes to 1 hour. Staff need at least thirty days notice before booking a program. Email email@example.com or call 630-377-6424 for information regarding these outreach programs.