THE LAURENT HOUSE (Rockford, IL): This is the only house Wright designed for a person with a disability. The owner, Kenneth Laurent, was a paraplegic. The house was occupied by its original owner from 1952-2012. It opened to the public in 2014 – this is only its second summer open for tours.
Car port at the front of the house, as the tour group gathers.
Laurent’s daughter’s bedroom. Everything in the Laurent house is low to the ground and accessible to someone in a wheelchair.
Laurent’s daughter’s bedroom. Note the low shelves. Above the windows you can see the track for the curtains.
Laurent’s daughter’s bedroom.
One of the many Japanese-style screens in the home. This is in the front entranceway.
Wright added one of his signature tiles to the front entrance as a sign of his pride in the home. He called the home his “little gem.”
The owners asked to keep the construction budget around $20,000. One of Wright’s cost-cutting measures were these simple, exposed, ceramic light fixtures in the ceiling.
Part of the living room.
Fireplace in the living room.
Coffee table in the living room. Note the very short seats, to put company at the same level as their wheelchair-bound host.
Living room windows.
FLlW signature lanterns.
Dining room windows.
Blueprints for the house.
A goldfish pond just outside the living room. Note the latch in the door and the ridge beneath it. Kenneth Laurent would wheel up to the pond, open the doors, and feed the fish. The ridge helped keep him from falling into the pond.
View of the master bedroom and study from the master bathroom.
Shower in the master bathroom.
Bathtub in the master bathroom.
Ken and Phyllis Laurent circa the 40’s.
Windows in the master bedroom.
Master bedroom, with two beds facing each other.
Desk in study.
Piano in living room.
In the kitchen, you can still see where the kids marked their growth on the wood.
The proposal to Wright for the Laurent Home.
PETTIT MEMORIAL CHAPEL (Belvidere, IL): Only one of two structures built by Wright for a cemetery setting, this was constructed in 1907 to honor the memory of Dr. William H. Pettit, who died in 1899.