Laurent House
12:10 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Frank Lloyd Wright's "Little Gem" Opens This Weekend In Rockford

A small home is expected to attract big crowds in Rockford this weekend.  The Laurent House is the world’s newest Frank Lloyd Wright museum. 

The curved hallway with a view of the woods. The Laurent House, Rockford, Illinois.
The curved hallway with a view of the woods. The Laurent House, Rockford, Illinois.
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The public can finally get a look inside The Laurent House this weekend, two and a half years after a community group bought Rockford’s only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home at auction. The modest house is the only one Wright designed for ease of use by someone in a wheelchair. The late Ken and Phyllis Laurent lived in it since its completion in 1959: architect John Eifler says the house is even more special because it still looks like the Laurents' home.

There's a kind of strange relationship that happens after a while between someone like the Laurents and their house. Their life, the things they keep, the things they display, and the architecture of the building all become one thing.

Eifler’s Chicago-based architecture firm oversaw the home’s much-needed, and subtle, restoration. His favorite part of the Laurent House?

When you first walk in the door, and take a right, ha, and you see that vista down that curved wall, it's very impressive. And it's so misleading at the same time. You have no idea how small the house really is.

Public tours start this weekend, and include cake and lemonade with the $15 price of admission. Sunday would have been Frank Lloyd Wright’s 147th birthday. 

If you're planning to go

Details on tickets, parking, the Foundation, and just about everything else are available at laurenthouse.com