Destination Illinois: Visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Little Gem” in Rockford

Destination Illinois

Tucked away on a quiet Rockford street sits one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most unique designs. The Laurent House.

Ken Laurent was a disabled World War II veteran. He and his wife Phyllis commissioned Wright to design a home for them in 1948. It’s the only building Wright created specifically for a client with a physical disability.

Laurent House Foundation President Jerry Heinzeroth says, “All of the furniture that Wright designed is low, seems low to us. The intent was when you sit in any of the furniture you’re at or below Ken’s eye level, making him the tallest person in the room.”

The house is deceiving from the street side. But when you come around to the back side or the private side of the home, it’s wide open, which was part of Wright’s design. To make nature and living one and th same.

At nearly 60 feet long, the home has one of the longest floor to ceiling window walls Wright ever designed. It even has a unique, forward thinking green design.

Heinzeroth says, “The outside eves are set up in a way that the sun is allowed in in the winter time to warm the house. And the sun is kept out in the summertime to keep the house cool.”

Ken lived in the house for 60 years until 2012. Heinzeroth adds, “He died at 92 which was unheard of for a paraplegic. And he said the only reason he lived a long and complete life was because of the gift Frank Lloyd Wright gave him.”

 The Laurent House has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. For tour information go to https://www.laurenthouse.com.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss