ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The Laurent House opened as a museum this past weekend to a sold out crowd. About 220 people went on a tour Saturday and Sunday to learn about Rockford's Frank Lloyd Wright home.
ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- It's known as Rockford's "little gem," the only Frank Lloyd Wright home built for a person with a disability. The Kenneth and Phyllis Laurent house will soon be open as a museum.
After 15 months and $400,000 worth of renovations, the Laurent house is ready to open up to the public. The nearly 60-foot window wall, the largest one Frank Lloyd Wright ever designed, catches your eye when you turn the corner, as well as the woodwork which was all refinished.
Most of what we will see in the home looks the same. Most of the real work was done with restoring the floor and ceiling. Seventy-five percent of the home was disassembled for rewiring and the floors were stripped down to the original Cherokee red concrete the Laurents once knew.
"We have literally restored the house to what it looked like when Frank Lloyd Wright presented it to them and that's exactly what they wanted to happen in the house," said Jerry Heinzeroth, who was a friend of the Laurents and the president of the Laurent House Foundation.
More than half the money went to a new, upgraded roof after a chunk of it collapsed last year from pooling water. HVAC duct work and an underground drainage system were also installed. But the interior, built for a person in a wheel chair, still looks mostly the same as it originally did when Phyllis and Ken moved in back in 1952.
The Laurent museum opens to the public this Saturday. The tour starts at Midway Village, visitors will then be shuttled to the house. To purchase tickets visit www.laurenthouse.com or click on the attached link.