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Article: Plan to expand operations at Laurent House

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:02 am
by DavidC

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:40 am
by Roderick Grant
It may be necessary to expand in order to keep the doors open, but I agree with the neighbors, the plan is an intrusion on the neighborhood, and should not have been approved.

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:01 pm
by DRN
I've said before this house should have remained a residence, and that this effort might not be sustainable.

That said, if the "museum" is to function, it may need to purchase one or two adjacent properties to gain minibus maneuvering and parking space without trashing its own site, and the conversion of an adjacent house to be an orientation center and guest restroom with revenue generating tchotchkes for sale. Is there money left after the purchase and restorations?

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:27 pm
by peterm
Shades of the David Wright house fiasco in miniature?

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:28 am
by outside in
one wonders how individuals who have no direct knowledge of the Laurent House Foundations' finances or operations have such strong opinions. The organization has raised substantial funds to restore a wonderful building and is seeking to continue their good work, allowing access to a design not previously seen before.

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:56 am
by Roderick Grant
You are correct, outside, provided no one gives a fig about the concerns of the rest of the neighborhood.

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:58 am
by outside in
one guy does not constitute the entire neighborhood. Again, all you have to go on is a 3 minute segment from a local news station. I would think the issue may be a little more complex than what you're shown.

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:01 am
by Roderick Grant
To what extent have you been apprised of the situation?

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:06 am
by outside in
I've been talking to Jerry Heinzeroth for years about the need for adjacent parking, orientation center, administrative offices and gift shop. These are all needed for their success as an organization. The house is closely tied with Anderson Gardens, another big tourist draw in Rockford. They tried to purchase the adjacent house to the north, but the owner's price escalated over time. Now they're forced to dealing with the house across the street.

the complaints are standard, and the "increased traffic" may amount to 10 cars per day, at the most. The city obviously sees the benefit in terms of dollars, which is why it passed.

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:30 pm
by Roderick Grant
What would be your response if someone bought, totally restored to mint condition, and opened for tours the Kier House, with an adjacent parking lot and museum-gift shop building?

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:47 pm
by Reidy
Has the Laurent management considered putting parking, offices and gift shop somewhere remote and bringing visitors in by van (not bus)? This is what Zimmerman, in an upscale neighborhood, does. Ennis tried such an arrangement, but it didn't improve relations because Brown and the neighbors were already irreconcilable blood enemies by then.

Zimmerman's gathering point is the Currier Gallery, and I should think you'd need a place with drawing power of its own. Does the Rockford area have anything like this?

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:10 pm
by outside in
If both the Kier House and our house were on one acre lots (ours is less than 1/4 acre) and if the Kier house foundation had successfully conducted an expensive restoration 6 years ago, and had been transporting tourists on and off the site for 5 successful years with no incidents, and the Kier House was located in a struggling rust belt community that needs tourism economically, then I would be happy to have them as neighbors.

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:44 pm
by DavidC
Reidy wrote:Zimmerman's gathering point is the Currier Gallery, and I should think you'd need a place with drawing power of its own. Does the Rockford area have anything like this?
If the Laurent House is already tied in w/ Anderson Gardens, perhaps this could be an option to consider?


David

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:18 pm
by jay
Has the Laurent management considered putting parking, offices and gift shop somewhere remote and bringing visitors in by van (not bus)?
Last I knew, the Laurent house used precisely that arrangement for twice-monthly tours on weekends. Private tours they allowed you to park in the driveway.

What a ridiculous local news segment. Their need to find "conflict" in all stories is just silly.... Go to any suburban neighborhood anywhere and you can find an aging white guy eager to complain about noise and "traffic" on his street.... Good for the city in ignoring this type of NIMBY-ism and seeing the good for the community, long-term.... 21st century American communities, especially in the post-industrial areas, need to celebrate whatever cultural resources they already have, protect them, and assist them if necessary.... It'd be nice if the local news was on the same page, instead of elevating a grouch.

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:54 pm
by Paul Ringstrom
The lots on the 4600 block of Spring Brook Rd are not small 50' wide city lots. They are rural (non-subdivision) size lots closer to an acre. The number of neighbors affected by these changes would be minimal.