ROCKFORD-- Rockford's only home designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright has been added to the National Register of Historic Places by the Department of the Interior. The Laurent House is unique among Wright designs in that it was the only structure Wright specifically designed for an individual with a disability. Kenneth Laurent was a World War II veteran who used a wheelchair when the house was constructed in 1949. A museum in the home will open on June 8th, Frank Lloyd Wright's 146th birthday.
Wright considered the home to be one of the 35 most important works of his career. The Laurents lived in the home until earlier this year. The Laurent House Foundation acquired the house and FLW furnishings in February 2012.
"We are thrilled by the decision to add the Laurent House to our nation's list of historic places. This underscores the home's significance as a unique and important piece of our nation's history and heritage. Mr. Wright lovingly called the home his 'little gem'; we are humbled that the Department of Interior sees that it is fitting and proper to preserve this gem for future generations," said Laurent House Foundation Board President Jerry Heinzeroth in a news release. "Additionally, the board would like to express its gratitude to Pam Hein, a local historic preservation advocate and expert, for her leadership and thoroughness in preparing and submitting our application to the Department of the Interior."