Fall is glorious time to visit Edith Farnsworth House

Chronicle Media

The Edith Farnsworth House is located on River Road in Plano. (Photo by Mike Crews, National Trust for Historic Preservation)

There’s never really a bad time to visit the Edith Farnsworth House in Plano, but fall may be the most glorious.

It’s hard to beat a view of seasonal colors through the floor-to-ceiling windows at the architectural landmark designed and constructed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

One of the crown jewels of Kendall County, the Edith Farnsworth House offers ample opportunities for visits through November.

The Edith Farnsworth House is generally open from Wednesday-Sunday with tickets ranging from $20 for access to the grounds to $30 for house tours ($15 for military personnel with identification). Moonlight tours lasting 90 minutes are scheduled monthly for $40. The next is set for Oct. 14.

The Edith Farnsworth House, formerly the Farnsworth House, is a historical house designed and constructed between 1945-51. It was created as a one-room weekend retreat in a rural setting in Plano.

The Edith Farnsworth House continues to celebrate “Every Line is a Decision: The Life and Legacies of Peter Palumbo” exhibition through Dec. 17. Palumbo, a British lord, purchased the Farnsworth property in 1971 and restored it twice: in 1971-72, and again in 1996-97, following a devastating flood.

Palumbo sold the property at auction in 2003, and it was acquired by The Friends of Farnsworth House for the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the U.S., with a preservation and conservation easement held by Landmarks Illinois.

Opened to the public in 2004, well over 100,000 visitors from around the world have toured the house and nearly 60-acre property, but very few have heard of Lord Palumbo’s history with the property, and very few outside the U.K. are familiar with his lifelong career in public service of the arts, architecture, and historic preservation.

His interests in global investment and philanthropy and in world heritage and culture have guided his personal travels and acquisitions, which he has shared with his wife, Lady Hayat Palumbo, since 1986.

During the three decades the Palumbos owned and improved Farnsworth, they purchased additional farm acreage, kept horses and vintage aircraft and automobiles, and entertained many notable figures, including some of the 20th century’s best-known artists and architects.

This fascinating chapter in the history of the Edith Farnsworth House will conclude the “Farnsworth House Founders Series” that launched in 2018 with “Mies and Bauhaus100,” and continued with “Edith Farnsworth Reconsidered.”

These three figures: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Edith Farnsworth, and Peter Palumbo have all shaped the modern icon that we enjoy today.

Tickets are required and can be purchased online or by phone when staff is available. The only legal access to the property is through one of the tour options. All visitors must check-in at the Visitor Center to receive a wristband and wear it while on the property.

No pets are allowed on the tours, and there is no shady area to leave them at the Visitor Center. Registered service dogs are authorized.

Interior tours are limited to 15 guests at a time. Ground access tickets are available to walk-in guests during business hours. Grounds access does not include an interior tour of or entry to the Edith Farnsworth House.

For more information visit www.edithfarnsworthhouse.org or call 630-552-0052.