Our final regional bus trip of the season was an outstanding way to finish out our summer schedule. For our first stop of the day we visited the Farnsworth House. One OLLI architecture buff commented she had wanted to visit this house since the first time she learned of it many years ago.
Ludwig mies van der Rohe’s masterpiece is a world famous example of modernist domestic architecture, which represents the builder's minimalist expression of structure and space. We arrived at the house after our half mile stroll along the river. I'll have to admit my first impression of the one-room plain structure totally enclosed by glass, made me wonder how we would spend more than a few minutes viewing it. In fact, there was way more to see than first met the eye.The guides were wonderful, giving us the history of the house and the relationship between the owner and the architect. Once we were actually inside the house, although it was small, it was spacious and peaceful, especially watching the river flow by through the floor to ceiling glass.
We had a delicious lunch at Two Brothers Roundhouse, and learned about the history of our lunch spot, which happened to be over 150 years old, the oldest Roundhouse in North America.
After lunch, we headed to the Paramount Theatre for a behind-the-scenes tour of this recently renovated theater which hosts a variety of shows, including a Broadway series.
The theater has an interesting background, designed by Rapp & Rapp, nationally known architects of movie theatres, who combined the original plan of a Venetian theme with the fashionable Art Deco influence of the 1920s and early 1930s, it is truly a breathtaking palace.
We went backstage, and then upstairs into the dressing rooms and even had a chance to stand on stage and take in the view of the majestic theater. While on stage, OLLI member Gary Clark took the opportunity to serenade his fellow members with a quick song-- what a treat!
Our final tour of the day was the Tanner House, an Italianate-style home to prominent merchant William Tanner. The house was amazing to browse through, featuring high ceilings, oak grained woodwork, ornate plaster decoration, and unique furnishings.
Our Aurora Architecture trip gave us chance to soak up the last of summer and take in the beauty of three distinct styles of architecture.