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  • Architectural and Landscape Beauty: A tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Laurent House & Anderson Japanese Gardens

Architectural and Landscape Beauty: A tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Laurent House & Anderson Japanese Gardens

  • June 13, 2019
  • 7:30 AM - 5:10 PM
  • Rockford
  • 0


  • To add guest, click on the "ADD GUEST" button at the bottom of the screen, then enter your guest information on the Guest Registration Form. Note: The guest fee is $92.00. The total registration fee for the member and guest is $169.

Guest fee: $92

Registration Fee includes Badger Bus travel w/Wi-Fi, docent tours of Laurent House and Anderson Gardens, and lunch at Anderson Gardens.

Registration Deadline: May 30

Note: If you cancel after this date, there will be no refund.
Registration is closed

6/11/19 - We had a cancellation.  We have one seat left for Thursday's trip.  If you would like to go, contact Janet Cabot at 608-280-1067.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Laurent House 

The Laurent House is a Frank Lloyd Wright designed Usonian house in Rockford.  It was the only house that Wright designed for a physically disabled client. Built in the early 1950's, Ken and Phyllis Laurent lived in the house for 60 years from 1952-2012,  Wright himself often urged Chicago-area clients to visit the home, calling it his “little gem.”

In 2012 the Laurent House Foundation, Inc., an independent, not-for-profit, private foundation purchased the home, the Wright-designed architectural drawings and furnishings, and the Laurent's personal effects.  In 2012 the Laurent House was added to the National Register of Places and it has been open to the public for the past five years.


We will have a one-hour docent led tour of the Laurent House.

Read more about the Laurent House:

Frank Lloyd Wright's Little Gem

Frank Lloyd Wright's Pioneering Example of Accessible Design

Accessible Frank Lloyd Wright House in Illinois Is Reborn as a Museum

Anderson Japanese Gardens

The Anderson Japanese Gardens began in 1978, when Rockford businessman John Anderson was inspired by a visit to the Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon. With the ongoing assistance of renowned Master Craftsman and designer Hoichi Kurisu, the Andersons’ swampy backyard along Rockford’s Spring Creek was transformed into a Japanese-style landscape. From groundbreaking to today, the placement of every rock, alignment of every tree, and layout of all paths has been made with careful consideration by Mr. Kurisu. In 1998, John and Linda Anderson donated the Gardens as a supported organization to the Rockford Rotary Charitable Association. It now exists as a not-for-profit entity and continues to grow and change to this day.

The gardens include several waterfalls and ponds, Spring Creek, rock formations, a tea house and a guest house built by Masahiro Hamada in 1986.  The Garden of Reflection, which includes a pond filled with koi and other colorful fish, was added in 1999.

In 2004 Sukiya Living, the Journal of Japanese Gardening rated Anderson Gardens the top Japanese Garden in the United States.

We will break up into small groups for guided tours by docents.  When we break into groups, there will be one group, if needed, for those who walk more slowly and feel that they might not be able to keep up otherwise.

We will be outdoors, so please dress accordingly.  Bring a hat and comfortable shoes.  A day bag with water and snacks, as well as your camera, is advised.  If you get tired or just want a break, there are many benches to sit and read.  Do not feel you have to keep up with the tours.

Lunch at Fresco at the Gardens

Lunch is included in the Registration Fee - "You Build it Board  - A wide selection of meat, cheeses, sides and buns so you can make your own sandwich. Cheeses Include - Pepper Jack, Cheddar and Swiss. Meats Include - Smoked Ham, Smoked Turkey and Roast beef. Multi-Grain Buns, Ciabatta Squares, Pickles, Tomatoes, pickled red onion and chips. Fresh fruit salad. Cookies for dessert and your choice of beverage (coffee, iced tea, soda.)


Anderson Japanese Gardens: The paths throughout the gardens are mostly covered with crushed limestone and are easily navigated by strollers and wheelchairs.  However, though you are able to view all areas of the Anderson Gardens from the paths, some areas have steps or uneven terrain and are not accessible except on foot.  

Laurent House: A 27” wide wheelchair, walker, or other mobility equipment is permissible inside the house, however, we do not allow motorized chairs or scooters. We are happy to accommodate our guests with mobility issues. We have a standard 24” wheelchair available for public use at the house.  There are no restrooms at the Laurent House.


Bear in mind that our boarding bus route is like Madison Metro or any other municipal bus service. Please arrive 15 minutes early at your boarding stop so you don’t miss the bus. When everyone is aboard and seated, we leave. Arrive early and we will all arrive in Rockford on time to begin our adventure.

Don’t be late. We can wait just 5 minutes at any one location.

– Pack water bottles and snacks for sustenance on the journey.

Leave Madison

7:15 AM     Begin boarding Oakwood

7:30 AM     Depart Oakwood

7:50 AM     Arrive Capitol Lakes

8:10 AM     Arrive East Towne Sears

8:30 AM     Depart for Rockford (or sooner if everybody is aboard)


10:00 AM   Arrive at Anderson Gardens for tour

12:00 PM   Lunch at Anderson Gardens

1:15 PM     Depart Anderson Gardens for Laurent House

1:30 PM     Arrive Laurent House

3:00 PM     Depart Laurent House for Madison

Return to Madison (Estimate)

4:30 PM      Arrive at East Towne Sears

4:50 PM      Arrive at Capitol Lakes

5:10 PM      Arrive at Oakwood Village West

Accessibility Policy: On the Badger Bus, you must be able to climb steps to board and exit the bus.

Non-Member Policy:  Members must register their guests. Each PLATO member is entitled to bring one non-member guest per bus trip. Members may bring more than one guest near the registration deadline date if seats are available. Check with trip organizer. Non-member guests pay an additional $15.00 registration fee.

PLATO Membership: PLATO membership is $60.00/year and all memberships renew on July 1.  If you join between April 1 and November 30 you will pay the full membership fee of $60.  If you join between December 1 and March 31 you pay half the membership fee - $30.

Mail-In Registration Form: Architectural and Landscape Beauty Field Trip Mail-in Registration Form.pdf

For further information contact the trip organizer

Janet Cabot - jbcabot52@gmail.com - 608-280-1067

PLATO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in association with:

For more information about PLATO, contact:

Edie Urness-Pondillo
UW-Madison Continuing Studies
21 N. Park St, 7th Floor, Madison, WI 53715
Email: info@platomadison.org
Phone: 608-262-5823
Fax: 608-265-4555

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