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Lake Forest Country Places
About the Lake Forest Country Places Collection
The links and articles below largely stem from tours, talks and writings of the Librarian for Special Collections, based on holdings here.
Key resources for local estate research are National Register and local landmark nomination forms. One NR form, dating from 1995 and one impetus behind some of the original 1990s pieces, is the nomination form for Lake Forest’s Green Bay Road National Register Historic District. Also newly updated, much revised and approved in Washington is the 1976 original east Lake Forest estate district, to be available in digital form from the State Preservation Agency mid year 2012. A preliminary draft version is available temporarily for reference use only.
July 11-14, 2008 a tour was led, based on estates-related material from Special Collections and with a visit to see them, a four-day members’ study program for the Society of Architectural Historians. Dozens of upper North Shore estates and landmarks were visited from Glencoe, Highland Park, Lake Forest, and Lake Bluff. Baird Jarman, a study tour fellow and an Associate Professor of Art at Carlton College took photographs and created a blog recording major stops.
Many articles linked below, by Arthur H. Miller, Archivist and Librarian for Special Collections at Lake Forest College, originally appeared in the Helen Yomine published Lake Forest Journal, 1994-1997; some have been replaced or updated and others have been added, along with some documentary material.
Some of the early articles have been updated or superseded by these subsequent publications:
Classic Country Estates of Lake Forest, Architecture and Landscape Design, 1856-1940 by Kim Coventry, Daniel Meyer, and Arthur H. Miller (W. W. Norton, 2003); The Country Houses of David Adler by Stephen M. Salny [Lake Forest College Class of 1977] (W. W. Norton, 2001); David Adler, Architect: The Elements of Style edited by Martha Thorne (Yale University Press, 2002); North Shore Chicago: Houses of the Lakefront Suburbs, 1890-1940 by Stuart Cohen and Susan Benjamin (Acanthus Press, 2004); Lake Forest: Estates, People and Culture by Arthur H. Miller and Shirley M. Paddock (Arcadia, 2000), 30 Miles North: A History of Lake Forest College, Its Town, and Its City of Chicago by Franz Schulze, Rosemary Cowler, and Arthur H. Miller (2000). Still, these articles and their replacements stand, for their focus on places and people often not covered elsewhere or in the same manner.
For corrections and additions, please contact us.
- J. Ogden Armour’s Mellody Farm (article rev. May 19, 2013). For great illustrations, with thanks to Nicola Nelson on the “I Remember Lake Forest When….” Facebook group page, see this extra-illustrated article of Peter B. Wight’s on the super Half Pudding Half Sauce website. What a feast!
- Mrs. J. Ogden Armour house, 1930s designed by David Adler, Green Bay Road, Lake Forest (see end of Half Pudding Half Sauce site).
- Ragdale (1897), architect Howard Shaw’s own summer place, North Green Bay Road. Ragdale historic photos digital exhibit. Ragdale renovation, 2011-12, in process (WTTW “Chicago Tonight” Report, 2011).
- Ragdale Barnhouse (1838?; 1850s?; renov. Howard Shaw, 1897; renov. John Lord King, 1938; Wallace Frost, ca. 1950; David Woodhouse, 2000s).
- “Glen Rowan,” the 1909 Shaw home for reformer the Rev. Clifford W. Barnes and his spouse, Alice Reid Barnes
— Now, as in the estate era, a kitchen garden thrives here (YouTube video), organic now, with students of Environmental Studies
- Howard Van Doren Shaw’s Finley Barrell House
- “Centaurs,” the 1913 and 1920s home of Alfred E. and Clarice Hamill (rev. November 2009)
- Countess Gizycki’s “Little Cottage,” Cissy Patterson’s early 1900s Lake Forest home
- “Rookwood,” Home of Helen Culver (attrib. Pond & Pond, 1900), a founder of Chicago’s Hull House (1889)
- Arthur Dixon III House, by Anderson & Ticknor (1935)
- Bernard Eckhardt’s “Pinewold” by architect William C. Zimmerman and landsc. designer Jens Jensen, (1907)
- Fairlawn (part 1)
- Fairlawn (part 2)
- Holts’ “Homestead” (1860) and the Hamills’ Italian Tower (1928)
- Hubbard’s “Stonywood” (1892)
- John V. Farwell House (1870)
- Noble Brandon Judah Estate
- Mrs. Kersey Coates Reed estate (David Adler, 1931); later remarried as Mrs. Stanley Keith; on the site of the 1880 Abram Poole estate, Elsinor (article rev. October 5, 2011)
- Albert Lasker Estate
- Lincoln Cabin At Ragdale
- “Roadside” of Mr. and Mrs. Sylvester Lind (1859), later Mr. and Mrs. Charles Dyer Norton (architect Hugh Garden, 1906)
- Armour’s “Mellody Farm,” part 2
- Charles H. Quinlan Estate
- Wayne Chatfield-Taylor’s “Bluff’s Edge” (Rebori Wentworth Dewey & McCormick, 1925)
- Leverett Thompson House
- Mr. and Mrs. James Ward Thorne Estate (Otis & Clark, 1912)
- McCormick’s “Walden” (Jarvis Hunt, 1896 and Schmidt Garden & Martin, with Lawrence Buck, 1913; landsc. by Warren Manning, 1896-1935). Landscape architect Warren Manning wrote a History of Walden in 1933.
- Villa Turicum (Charles A. Platt for Harold and Edith Rockefeller McCormick, 1908-18). See http://www.villaturicum.com/ by Todd Protzman-Davis for the best overview. For a general discussion see Classic Country Estates of Lake Forest… (2003) by Kim Coventry et al. This writer likes the treatment of Edith, the McCormicks, and John D. Rockefeller’s image problems in Ron Chrernow’s The Titan… (1998), a biography of Mr. Rockefeller. Keith Morgan’s 1980s monograph on Platt also deals with the importance of this commission in Platt’s career.
Crab Tree Farm (Solon Beman, 1911; David Adler, 1927, etc.). Copied Grace Durand and related documents, 1920s and 1930s, from the Griffith Grant & Lackie, Realtors, Inc., Lake Forest, archives. These have been organized from general loose bundles of papers by local historian and volunteer Shirley M. Paddock, and her listing of these documents appears at the beginning of the file, as an index to the whole (August 30, 2011).
— Edward McCormick Blair’s 1955 International Style villa residence, by architects Keck & Keck (August 30, 2011)
- William M. Burton/Gardner Brown estate (attrib. Van Wegenan Alling, ca. 1916), 100 N. Sheridan Road; today Brown House, Lake Forest College.
- Barat College (1904, Egan & Prindeville), built as Convent of the Sacred Heart, Roman Catholic Church. Though not an estate per se, this retreat from the City for this religious order and its schools/college (the latter by 1920) was located here purposely near the estates of the mostly Protestant, native-born Chicago elite. Articles written on Barat’s history, architecture, etc. in 1997 are on the website of the Lake Forest Preservation Foundation.
- Mayflower Place, 405 North Mayflower Road (Schweppe estate, Frederick Wainwright Perkins, architect, 1913-15 ).
- Durand, Henry Clay (1827-1901), and family estates, southwest corner of Deerpath and Mayflower Roads, 1875-1952. The Durands’ adopted daughter, Daisy, married Franklin P. Smith, who was engaged in he manufacture of wrought iron fencing, and a new home for the couple was begun in 1900, the future “Clover Nook.” Carol Blomquist donated a group of historic images of these now-lost Lake Forest estates—their houses, landscapes and gardens—from 1875 through 1952, given to her by the late Daisiana Smith (Pirie) Giles, the Smiths’ only daughter. Search in our digital collections for “Franklin P. Smith” and for “Henry C. Durand.” The O.C. Simonds 1912 plan for the Smith estate is at the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society.
- Walter and Katherine Lancaster Brewster estate, Covin Tree, Lake Forest. A garden plan and a catalog for an AIC 1940s exhibit of the work of Carl Milles, with one of the works lent by the Brewsters. The Archives of American Gardens (Smithsonian) has four 1930s slides of the Brewster garden: formal garden immediately west of the terrace, small pool, sculpture and fountain southeast of the April garden, view of the east facade of the house from southeast of the old pond on which it is sited, and the terminus of the central vista from the house west across the brick-walled June garden, with Sylvia Shaw Judson’s sculpture of St. Brigid of Ireland (see plan above for orientation). With thanks to Nicola Nelson and the Facebook “I Remember Lake Forest When….” group public page for encouragement and some sources.
- Insley, Mr. and Mrs. Carter Fitzhugh, 360 N. Mayflower Road (Holabird & Roche, 1893).
- Mosaic House, 275 N. Mayflower Rd. (architect Henry Ives Cobb, 1882 for the Leander McCormick family, and subsequent).
- Elawa Farm. City of Lake Forest-owned farm buildings group history. The Elawa Farm residential group is the home, garden and studio of landscape designer Craig Bergmann and interior designer Paul Klug, 900 North Waukegan Road.
Last updated June 6, 2013 by Arthur H. Miller