Just down the river from Aurora, near Plano, sits this minimalist dwelling of steel, wood, and travertine marble built by Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe in 1951. The Farnsworth House appears to nearly float against a backdrop of serene river views and gardens. Brad Pitt chose the site for a Japanese jeans commercial he shot in 2007, raising $60,000 for the house's upkeep. The house, which the National Trust for Historic Preservation operates as a museum, may only be seen by
guided tour (reservations highly recommended).