Chicago, Illinois (PressExposure) September 19, 2006 -- Sunday, September 17, 2006, The Lake Michigan Region Chapter of the Rolls-Royce Owner's Club met at the estate of Colonel George Fabyan for a private tour of the home and Japanese gardens.
Graciously lining the drive from Highway Route 31 to the Villa Riverbank were parked beautiful vintage Rolls-Royces and Bentleys. The occasion was a tour of the villa and grounds of the Fabyan Estate built by Colonel Fabyan. The villa was originally a smaller dwelling but Col. Fabyan had higher visions for this beautiful property.
In 1914 Colonel Fabyan commission Frank Lloyd Write to expand the country house into a grand and comfortable villa. The main floor remains intact and was enlarged with a grand porch facing the river. The upstairs was expanded to accommodate four private suites and a very grand master bedroom. The master suite has the floor at a lower elevation due to Colonel Fabyan's height, 6'4". In the home the Fabyan's entertain leading Chicago luminaries such as Marshal Field, Philip Armour, and the Swift's.
Everywhere throughout the house the mark of Frank Lloyd Write was to be seen from the small gas/electric lamps to the fabulous privacy screen in the dining room. All the details show the understanding of space and material that Write knew so well.
After finishing the tour of the home the group was taken on a guided tour of the famous Japanese Gardens to the east of the house. This is truly one of the loveliest gardens in the area. The guide pointed out the numerous types of trees and plant that had survived through the good and bad years of the garden. The garden has two Chinese bridges passing over a lovely pond with assorted sculptures and foliage. The paths are designed so as take in the natural beauty of the site.
After the World War II the garden fell into neglect and remained in decline until the 1970's when the Forest Preserve undertook to restore and edify the garden. There are a number of trees that have actually adapted to the climate that are not indigenous to the Chicago Climate. Since the Kane County Forest Preserve has acquired the land they have done extensive renovation and tending of the house and gardens.
Upon leaving the Japanese garden the group took leave for luncheon at Tuscano's restaurant in downtown Geneva. The restaurant is a conversion of an old bank building that has kept all the architectural detail intact. The bank vault now serves as a bar and is an accent point to the main floor. As the afternoon rain clear the sun shined through to end a fine summer day.