Word has it Frank Lloyd Wright's Kenneth Laurent House is leaving the open market for the auction house. Listing for $875,000 in January, the price didn't budge and neither did prospective buyers. And now, according to the Rockford Register Star, an auction date with Richard Wright of Wright Auction has been set for Dec. 15. Rockford's frenzied preservationists are trying to raise the cash needed to make a competitive bid, in hopes of turning the mid-century Usonian home into a museum. The auction makes it more likely that a less passionate caretaker will get hold of the house, especially since the minimum bid will be set below $500,000.
One of FLW's smaller homes (and one of his favorites), the single-story 1952 3-bed is just over 2,600 sf. Happily, it's set on 1.2 rolling semi-wooded acres. Built for Kenneth and Phyllis Laurent following Kenneth's debilitating WWII combat injury, it's the only handicapped accessible FLW house. Remarkably, the couple has lived there ever since, deciding to move into assisted living only recently. Thanks to their longstanding stewardship, not much has been altered structurally. Earlier in the year, however, some of the original Wright furniture went up for auction. The pictures above precede that event so may not reflect the current state. To support the preservationist cause, contact the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois at 815-962-2110. If you're in it to win it, best of luck.
·Listing: 4646 Spring Brook Rd. [Gambino Realtors]
·Group raising money to buy local FLW house [Rockford Register Star]
·Laurent furnishings auction lamentable [Prairie Mod]