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Accessible Frank Lloyd Wright Home Added To Historic Register


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The only fully-accessible home ever designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright is among the latest properties to be named to the National Register of Historic Places.

The U.S. Department of the Interior recently added the Laurent House in Rockford, Ill. to its list of historic places.

The home was designed by Wright in 1949 for Kenneth Laurent, who was paralyzed while serving in World War II. In addition to switches, built-in desks and other features and furnishings designed to accommodate an individual using a wheelchair, Wright crafted the house so that it’s beauty could be appreciated from a seated position.

Laurent and his wife, Phyllis, lived in the one-of-a-kind home since its completion in 1952, but put the property up for auction last year after they decided to move to an assisted living facility.

The home was purchased by a group of local conservationists with the Laurent House Foundation who plan to open the property to the public as a museum on June 8, 2013, the 146th anniversary of Wright’s birth.

Designation on the National Register of Historic Places indicates that a property is worthy of preservation and makes it eligible for certain federal protections as well as grants and tax credits.

“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 Jerry Heinzeroth, president of the Laurent House Foundation.

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Comments (2 Responses)

  1. George Buzzetti says:

    This is too much. I did not know that Wright designed a home for a disabled person. This shows that it can be done to the highest levels and why not. We need to thank those who are preserving it and the Federal Government for giving it the status. This is an important learning tool for all.

  2. Sherri says:

    I see why they bought it, but it seems wrong. Mr. Wright meant for it to be a home for those with special needs and to be loved, enjoyed, and liveable for them. I think it is sad that they can not use it for it;s purpose. As a parent of a special needs child I think the goal should be to give it to the special needs community. a retreat home for those with special needs, and halfway home between the hospital and getting back to their homes for those recently injured. His “Gem” should not be a museum. He made things to last and be lived in and it should be. I hope they do good with it, not tours.

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