Wright & Transportation, A St. Louis Experience!
For my birthday my friend Janna got me the gift of a St. Louis experience! We, along with our husbands and her brother Scott spent the day touring. We visited the beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright Home in Ebsworth Park. Then we headed to the National Museum of Transportation. Lunch was at the fabulous Crushed Red across from City Hall in Kirkwood, Missouri!
The Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park
The drive to the Frank Lloyd House in Ebsworth Park is quite lovely. It was our first stop on our St. Louis experience! Located in Kirkwood, there were numerous houses with unique architectural designs! Tours had to be booked in advance when we toured in late November. The house is set on wooded acreage. The1,900-square-foot residence that Frank Lloyd Wright built was for Russell and Ruth Kraus. Russel Kraus was a mosaic and stained-glass artist, and his designs are used in the home. Kraus was also a freelance commercial artist and designer
Wright in St. Louis
This was Frank Lloyd Wright’s first building in the St. Louis area. The home is one of Wright’s Usonion designs. Originally designed in 1946, the home wasn’t completed until 1951. It was built using a parallelagram design. The delay was delayed because it took time to find cedar, and a contractor willing to build to Wright’s specifications. Then. in 1951 they hired Lee Patterson to lead the construction project
The Ebsworth Park website states, this house is one of only five Wright designs in Missouri. “It is an excellent example of Wright’s democratic vision, intended to provide middle-class Americans with beautiful architecture at an affordable cost.”
Adding a studio made this an untypical Usonian home. That aspect made this home more expensive than his original design. The home has been restored and is probably the loveliest of Wright’s Usonions I’ve seen! Being a Wright fan, the buildings at Lakeland College in Lakeland Florida provide the largest collection of Wright buildings that I am aware of.
Call ahead to reserve a tour. Check the website to ensure they are open during these challenging times. FYI, Mason City, Iowa is another place where there are a few wonderful Wright stops!
Crush Red Restaurant
After our tour, we stopped at the Crush Red for lunch, continuing our St. Louis experience. Crush Red is located across from Kirkwood’s City Hall. There is also one is St. Louis as well. You go up and order and receive your food right away. The food is quite tasty, fast food healthy! I loved the fact that I could eat pizza and not feel guilty. Their website tells the story of how they wanted to offer healthy food fast! “…Together, they developed organically dressed salads that are chopped to order using a spectrum of colorful ingredients. They created pizzas with crispy whole-grain crusts and organic tomato sauce…”
Yum, good food in a cool location!
The National Museum of Transportation, a St. Louis Experience
Our last stop to conclude our St. Louis experience of the day was the National Museum of Transportation. The only complaint here is we didn’t have enough time to do the whole museum justice! This is one of the most comprehensive transportation museums in the country!
The first thing we did was take a train ride around the complex which was fun, but in retrospect, I think this particular train is more geared for the younger crowed. I had envisioned an old steam locomotive, which there are plenty to view!
Inside there are various displays and collections to see. Online you can look at the entire inventory of the museum’s collection, which is quite amazing. The train collection is mostly outside. They have several one of a kind like “Big Boy”, the largest steam locomotive ever built! There are several historic train cars to see, and you can even go into some as well.
The collection includes cars, carriages and even a plane and a tugboat on display! There are over 200 cars to see. They share stories of the cars like the one that Bobby Darren owned and donated to the museum. The early automobiles and trucks were my favorite part of the museum. The museum also offers a great gift shop with some fun things to purchase. For toy collectors you might find a buy or two! We spied some fun truck models while touring.
There is a lot of outside items to see and several play areas for the younger set, so it’s a great grandkid stop. We plan to return and mosey and see it all without a deadline someday!
Day in St. Louis
What a wonderful way to spend the day in St. Louis! I am loving this experience gift idea! We need to do it again; I think a St. Louis Cathedral visit is in the works!