S. Forry Laucks, owner of the York Safe & Lock Company, established LAUXMONT FARMS in 1918 as his country estate. Over time, Laucks pieced together his estate with existing farm lands, which included the Rotunda. Eventually he acquired more than 2,000 acres.
When it was built in 1933, the Rotunda served as Laucks’ entertainment area, offering visitors a sampling of milk, vegetables and meat that came directly from the farm. Laucks even used milk collected from his show cows at the nearby Cobblestone Courtyard to make ice cream. People from all over the world visited the Rotunda to sample the fresh farm-to-table ingredients.
The Rotunda was designed by Delano & Aldrich Architects. The New York architectural firm is famous for designing the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the American Embassy in Parris.
The Rotunda was designed in the International Style of architecture, which emphasized volume, balance and a simple, elegant style. As the centerpiece of LAUXMONT FARMS, the circular building offers 360-degree stunning views of the Susquehanna River and surrounding rolling hills. As natural light billows into the Rotunda through its glassed covered walls, the sunshine spotlights the 25-foot-high dome ceiling resting atop sixteen columns.
In 1973, the Kohr family purchased LAUXMONT FARMS. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Ron Kohr, Sr. built the horse paddocks and 28 miles of fencing around the Rotunda to raise champion, thoroughbred racehorses. The fences were laid out to create a circular, spoke-like pattern. The design of the Rotunda and surrounding horse pastures is so beautiful that it was chosen to be featured in National Geographic Magazine in 1985.
The Rotunda was transformed in 2000, when the Kohr family decided to bring the Rotunda back to its original glory. Ron Kohr, Jr. performed extensive restoration work to the Rotunda in order to make it one of the most unique wedding venues in the country. Since opening for weddings, brides and grooms from around the United States have selected the Rotunda for their special day.