Event Calendar

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Laurent House and Anderson Japanese Gardens Tour

Start Date: 9/22/2022 9:30 AM CDT
End Date: 9/22/2022 4:00 PM CDT

Venue Name: Frank Lloyd Wright's Laurent House

Location:
4646 Spring Brook Road
Rockford, IL  United States  61114

Organization Name: Association of Licensed Architects

Contact:
Joanne Sullivan
Email: ala@alatoday.org
Phone: (847) 382-0630

Tour Two of Rockford’s Hidden Architectural Gems with ALA on Thursday, September 22.

Join us for an incredible experience as we tour the Laurent House and Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, IL, from 9:30 am – 4:00 pm on Thursday, Sep. 22. Architect and trained docent-led tours will focus on the architectural elements of two homes, with Japanese cultural design influences but distinctly different character.

The Laurent House is the only residence that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for a paraplegic, decades ahead of ADA requirements becoming law. In 1948, after seeing an article about Frank Lloyd Wright's building style in House Beautiful magazine, Ken Laurent, a young paraplegic wrote to him about the house he needed given he was confined to a wheelchair. Ken was impressed by Wright's open floorplan, a rarity in that era. There is so much more to this wonderful story so you must join us for this amazing tour.

The Anderson Gardens feature a 16th century Sukiya-style Guest House, built by a Japanese Craftsman in 1985, including post and beam construction. Anderson is widely regarded as one of the top Japanese gardens in the country.

Learning Objectives:

1: Discover how the Laurent house is an excellent example of Wright's democratic vision, intended to provide middle-class U.S. citizens with uniquely American Architecture at an attainable cost.

2: Learn the design details and functionality of the Laurent House, the only residence that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for a wheelchair-confined person, decades ahead of US FHA, IL EBA and US ADA legislation becoming law.

3: Discuss what Frank Lloyd Wright attempted with Usonian homes to make them more affordable; what worked and what did not; and what possibilities exist today to make dwellings universally accessible, age in place, more affordable and unique inspiring design.

4: Analyze the Anderson Gardens 16th century Sukiya-style Guest House and surrounding gardens, built by a Japanese Craftsman in 1985 and discuss how elements of this style home and surrounding gardens can create the sense of well-being.

5: Discuss the architectural integrity and spirit-lifting qualities of both homes, their surrounding landscape aesthetics, and how each promote the sense of well-being,

Tour Cost:
$145 Members   
$175 Non-Members   
Guests $145

Tour cost includes architect and docent-led tours of two homes and gardens, presentations, architect-led discussion, welcome coffee, and lunch. Transportation is not included.

Tour Itinerary:

9:30 a.m.
Day Begins at the Laurent House Visitor Center

Arrive at the Laurent House, welcome coffee, and pastry. Upon arrival you will be directed to the home or Visitor Center.

Due to space limitations half the group will gather at the Visitor Center. The other half will gather at the home, which is across the street.

Parking is at the Visitor Center, directly across the street from the Laurent House, at 4627 Spring Brook Road.
 
10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Half the group will attend a presentation in the Visitor Center about the design/construction of the home that pertains to accessibility and aspects of the construction pertaining to restoration, while the other half tours the Laurent House.

When each segment is finished, the groups will switch.

2 LUs/HSW
 
12-12:15 p.m.
Drive to Anderson Japanese Gardens. Parking is at the Visitor Center.
 
12:15-1 p.m.
Lunch

Attend lunch in lower-level gallery of the Visitor Center, provided by Fresco’s at the Garden.
 
1-3 p.m.
Half the group will attend a presentation in the Gallery about the history of the gardens and 16th Century Sukiya-style Guest House design, while the other half tours the gardens with a visit to the 16th Century Sukiya-style Guest House.
When each segment is finished the groups will switch.

2 LUs/HSW
 
3-4 p.m.
Group Discussion

The discussion topic is Affordability combined with unique/inspiring design is an age-old concern for Architects and their clients. What did Frank Lloyd Wright attempt with Usonian homes to make them more affordable? What worked and what didn’t? What are the possibilities for dwellings of today to make them universally accessible, age in place, more affordable and unique inspiring design?

1 LU/HSW
 



 
Credits:
This program is approved by ALA and AIA for 5 LUs/HSW. There are no partial credits.

Locations:
1. The Laurent House is located at 4646 Spring Brook Road, Rockford, IL 61114

2. Anderson Japanese Gardens is located at 318 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, IL 61107