Recently, thanks to the Open House weekend in Chicago, I got a chance to step into Ernest Hemingway’s birth home without paying a single cent of admission fee. Yay!
Out of the 200 plus free architecture sites that offered free admission, Hemingway’s home was the only site that attracted me and thus I took my little trip to this suburb.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t as far as I thought for it only took about 25 minutes on the CTA train before I reach the nearest train station, Harlem on the green line.
Then I spent about 20 minutes walking to the site. Thankfully, the weather was great that day, cool and cloudy so I wasn’t cold and I wasn’t scorched by the sun either.
I really like the whole vibe of Oak Park. The houses are pretty. There is this really old-school feeling to the houses’ architecture and the whole neighborhood was really quaint with thrift shops and restaurants. Helps that there was great fall foliage too!
Long Long Queue
After I finally reached the place, there was already a long queue in place!
I thought it would move fast, but unfortunately not! In the end I spent about 1.5 hours queuing up although there were just about 60 people in front of me I think. Sigh. Thank god for the cloudy weather if not I would be grumbling non-stop about the harsh sunlight shining on my already pigmented skin.
After the long long wait, I finally proceeded in. I really like the vibe of the place! Apparently the house was an example of the Queen Anne Victorian architecture style (if I didn’t remember wrongly). By right there should be a guided tour of the second floor and the first floor. However because of the long queue? or cos it was just a preview for the Open House program, we were only given a tour of the first floor.
At least the guide still gave us a tour. It would be a complete waste if there was no guide around to tell us a bit about the history of the house.
I would have loved to visit the Frank Lloyd Wright house nearby which was also one of the site with free admission for the Open House program. Unfortunately my dear husband has no more patience for long queues and hence I didn’t visit in the end……
But Oak Park is definitely a place I will introduce friends to stop by if they are ever visiting Chicago!