Landmarks Illinois, a statewide group that advocates the protection of historic properties, will honor two Rockford landmarks next month.
The Laurent House Foundation and the Prairie Street Brewhouse in Rockford will receive awards based on their efforts to honor Illinois' heritage and preserve its history. Seven other efforts from across the state will be honored as well.
"This has been an extraordinary year for preservation in Illinois," said Bonnie McDonald, president of Landmarks Illinois. "Increasingly, building owners and developers are recognizing that the preservation and reuse of notable architecture not only enhances the beauty of the state, but also can significantly improve the vibrancy and livability of our neighborhoods, fostering civic pride, community involvement, and additional reinvestment."
The Laurent House Foundation are being awarded for their efforts to preserve the Laurent House, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for a paraplegic World War II veteran and his wife in 1949. Wright called the home his "little gem." The Laurents lived in the home until 2011, when they put it and all of the furniture designed by Wright on auction. A group of citizens formed the Laurent House Foundation, purchased the home and furniture, raised more than $1 million then repaired problems with the home before opening it as a museum in 2014.
The Prairie Street Brewhouse is being awarded for rehabilitation efforts to the building, which was constructed between 1857 and 1922 near the Rock River. The brewhouse started as home for the Rockford Brewing Company. Loyd and Diane Koch purchased the building in 2000, and eventually rehabilitated the building to serve as a mixed-use space that houses a brewery, banquet hall, restaurant, office space and residential lofts.
Both the Laurent House Foundation and the Prairie Street Brewhouse will receive a Richard H. Dreihaus Foundation Preservation Award, including $500 and a trophy, at a special ceremony on Oct. 17 at Venue One in Chicago.