The only handicap-accessible home that Frank Lloyd Wright ever designed is becoming a museum.
Kenneth and Phyllis Laurent commissioned Wright to design the home in Rockford in 1949 after spinal cord problems left Kenneth Laurent paralyzed from the waist down. The accessibility allowed by Wright’s designs predates the Americans with Disabilities Act by several decades, and Wright himself considered it one of his most important works.
“He visited the house on a few occasions, would encourage his customers, his clients, traveling between Chicago and Talesin (Wright’s studio in Spring Green, Wis.) to visit his little gem,” said John Groh, a member of the board of directors for the Laurent House Foundation.
The Laurents lived there until 2011, when the foundation bought the home. Its grand opening as a museum will be held on June 6, with public tours beginning the following day.
Springfield has its own Wright-designed home open to the public: the Dana-Thomas House.