Wheelchair-Accessible Frank Lloyd Wright House Up For Auction
The only fully-accessible house ever designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright is headed for the auction block and now a group is trying to save it.
The Rockford, Ill. house designed by Wright in 1949 is fully accessible with switches, built-in desks and other features and furnishings designed to accommodate an individual in a wheelchair. What’s more, Wright worked to ensure that the beauty of the home could be appreciated from the viewpoint of someone who is seated.
The house was built at the request of Kenneth Laurent who experienced a spinal cord injury in World War II that left the lower half of his body paralyzed, according to officials at the Laurent House Foundation, an independent group that’s working to preserve the house.
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Laurent and his wife, Phyllis, have lived in the home since its completion in 1952 — nearly 40 years before the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act set the bar for accessibility. But the couple now plan to move to an assisted living facility and are looking to sell. Without a buyer, however, the house appears headed for the auction block on Dec. 15.
Local conservationists with the Laurent House Foundation are hoping to save the historic home. They are working to raise the estimated $500,000 to $700,000 needed to buy the house in hopes of turning it into a museum.
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