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exterior front view of Laurent House in Rockford, Illinois

Jerry Heinzeroth standing in the doorway of the Laurent House in Rockford, Illinois
Jerry Heinzeroth welcomes us to the Laurent House
I was lucky enough to get a preview. Jerry Heinzeroth, who was a close friend of the Laurents as well as President of the Laurent House Foundation board, gave us a special tour. The story behind the home is as thrilling as the new museum.

Kenneth Laurent was a disabled, wheel-chair-bound World War II veteran who was having a problem finding a place that met his special needs. His wife, Phyllis, suggested they contacted Frank Lloyd  Wright and ask him to design a home to meet Kenneth's needs. Wright agreed.

It took a while to design and build the home and during that time, Wright became friends with the Laurents. Perhaps this is one reason the home is so special. The Laurents lived in the home from 1952 until 2012, when the home and all of its original Frank Lloyd Wright-designed furniture was acquired by the Laurent House Foundation and added to the National Register of Historic Places.
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The single-story Usonian home is both functional and beautiful. The amazing thing is it met the needs of its handicapped owner decades ahead of Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility requirements. The home features a solar hemicycle footprint, patio, fishpond, carport, and outdoor connectivity to the natural landscape.

glassed in room in Laurent House in Rockford, Illinois kitchen in Laurent House in Rockford, Illinois
The home was designed to provide wonderful views The kitchen is functional as well as beautiful

The Laurent House will welcome tours year round on the first and last weekend (Saturday and Sunday) of each month. Regular tours will depart from Midway Village Museum (6799 Guilford Rd., Rockford) at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.

handicapt designed bathroom in Laurent House in Rockford, Illinois exterior view of Laurent House in Rockford, Illinois
The bath may have been Wright's greatest challengeThe exterior is as charming as the interior

 For more info:

www.laurenthouse.com/visit

 

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