Lake Forest, Illinois

Lake Forest, Illinois

name = Lake Forest
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category = City
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country = United States
state = Illinois
region = Lake
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district = Moraine, Shields, Vernon, West Deerfield
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population = 20059
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mayor = S. Michael Rummel
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postal_code = 60045
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map_caption = Location of Lake Forest within Illinois
map_background = Illinois - background map.png map_locator = Illinois2
commons = Lake Forest, Illinois
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Lake Forest is a city known for its affluence, located in Lake County, Illinois, United States. The population was 20,059 at the 2000 census. The city is south of Waukegan, Illinois, on the shore of Lake Michigan, and is a part of the Chicago metropolitan area and the affluent North Shore.

Lake Forest was founded around its college and laid out as a town in 1857 as a stop for travelers making their way south to Chicago. The headquarters of Tenneco, Brunswick, W.W. Grainger, Inc., and Hospira (all Fortune 500 companies) are in Lake Forest, and BFG Technologies is located in unincorporated Lake County, near Lake Forest. The Chicago Bears training facility and headquarters, Halas Hall, opened in 1997 in west Lake Forest, and the Chicago Fire now train at the Bears' previous facility located on the campus of Lake Forest College. Robert Redford filmed "Ordinary People", the story of a Lake Forest family, on location in 1980, and the movie went on to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Actor Vince Vaughn graduated from Lake Forest High School, as did author Dave Eggers and musician Andrew Bird.

Educational institutions

Most Lake Forest residents attend Lake Forest School District 67 and Lake Forest High School. Lake Forest High School serves Lake Forest as well as neighboring Lake Bluff, Knollwood, and parts of Mettawa.

A very small number of Lake Forest residents living near Rondout attend Rondout and Libertyville schools.

The Montessori School of Lake Forest and [ Forest Bluff School] (in Lake Bluff) both serve ages two through 14, and are both accredited by AMI (Association Montessori Internationale); the latter is nationally known from the writings of founder and former head Paula Polk Lillard, and is often cited as one of the leading Montessori schools in America.

Lake Forest Academy, a boarding and day school on the west side of Lake Forest, is considered to be one of the best college preparatory and boarding schools in the Midwest, and attracts students from across the country and around the world. Lake Forest Country Day School was recently lauded by Chicago Magazine for its use of technology in the classroom. East Lake Academy and the School of St. Mary are the two private, Catholic schools located in Lake Forest: East Lake Academy is a newer elementary school started in 2001, and the School of St. Mary was established in 1917 and is a Catholic institution in Lake Forest.

Elementary Schools

*Deer Path Middle School - public
*Cherokee Elementary School - public
*Everett Elementary School - public
*Sheridan Elementary School - public
*Rondout Elementary School - public
*School of St. Mary - private
*Lake Forest Country Day School - private
*East Lake Academy - private

High schools

*Lake Forest High School - public
*Lake Forest Academy - private
*Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart - private


*Lake Forest College
*Lake Forest Graduate School of Management

Geography and development

Lake Forest is located in the North Shore area, at coor dms|42|14|5|N|87|51|3|W|city (42.234788, -87.851042).GR|1

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.9 square miles (43.8 km²), of which, 16.9 square miles (43.7 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.30%) is water.

As Lake Forest was first developed, the planners laid roads that would provide very limited access to the city in an effort to prevent outside traffic and further isolate the tranquil settlement from neighboring areas. Though considerably more accessible today, due in part to the extensive new construction taking place further West, the much smaller neighborhood of East Lake Forest, near the coast of Lake Michigan, remains relatively secluded and is among the most scenic, historical, and architecturally significant suburbs of Chicago. These neighborhoods include estates made by distinguished architects like Howard Van Doren Shaw.

In 1967 a group of 12 long-time residents of Lake Forest formed a land conservation organization, Lake Forest Open Lands Association. [ [ Lake Forest Open Lands Association ::: Community Website ] ] Its express purpose was to purchase or otherwise set aside the rapidly disappearing open spaces in the city, in the interests of preserving animal habitat, restoring ecosystems, and providing environmental education for the city's children. In the next 38 years, the group managed to acquire over convert|700|acre|km2 within the city limits, which now form six nature preserves with convert|12|mi|km of walking trails open to the public. Preserved in perpetuity are wetlands, original pre-1830 prairie, woodland and savanna, all within the city.

Lake Forest has been named a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation in recognition of its commitment to community forest. As of 2006, Lake Forest has received this national honor for twenty-six years.

Commercial development

Commercial development in Lake Forest is focused in three areas, two of which have public railway stations. The central business district includes a Metra commuter railroad station on the Union Pacific/North Line and extends beyond Market Square, providing a mixture of retail, banking, and professional services, as well as restaurants. The business district to the west includes a Metra commuter railroad station on the Milwaukee District/North Line and extends beyond Settlers' Square to provide a mixture of retail, banking and professional services, as well as restaurants. A third area of business development, consisting mostly of corporate and office space, extends along the city's northwestern border with the Tri-State Tollway.

Lake Forest is notorious for its strong stance against commercial development. High property taxes have driven out many businesses, especially car dealerships, to neighboring Lake Bluff. Most notably, Lake Forest Sportscars, one of the only Ferarri dealerships in Illinois, moved from downtown to its current location on Waukegan Road in Lake Bluff, just across the street from Lake Forest. The McDonald's in West Lake Forest was approved only after significant appearance changes, giving it a "barn-like" appearance. There were plans for a Costco to be built on Illinois Route 60, near the Tri-State Tollway in 2005. However, these plans were canceled due to opposition from the city government, local citizens, and the Chicago Bears.


Lake Forest has Interstate Highway access through the Tri-State Tollway (I-94). In addition, the Skokie Highway (U.S. Highway 41) runs through Lake Forest, roughly bisecting the city. Lake Forest is connected with suburbs west of it through Illinois Route 60. Additionally, Lake Forest has two Metra commuter railroad stations, both of which share the same name. The Union Pacific/North Line has a station in East Lake Forest, while the Milwaukee District/North Line has a station in West Lake Forest.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 20,059 people, 6,687 households, and 5,329 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,189.4 people per square mile (459.1/km²). There were 7,001 housing units at an average density of 415.1/sq mi (160.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.80% White, 1.35% African American, 0.06% Native American, 2.45% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 0.44% from other races, and 0.77% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.87% of the population.

There were 6,687 households out of which 39.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.6% were married couples living together, 4.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.3% were non-families. 18.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.5% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 19.7% from 25 to 44, 28.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 90.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $136,462, and the median income for a family was $165,512. Males had a median income of $100,000+ versus $44,083 for females. The per capita income for the city was $77,092. About .15% of families and .2% of the population were below the poverty line.


Lake Forest is famous in Chicago for its history of polo, being once the farthest-west establishment of the sport in the US. It was home to the "East-West clash of 1933" in which a team of "Westerners", today Midwesterners, challenged the best of the Eastern US polo teams, winning two of three matches. Box seats sold for $5.50 and the general public was admitted for $1.10. The Chicago press covered the match extensively, right down to the arrival of every horse and player, the color of the horseflesh and the color of the goalposts. The match was described as a "gleaming moment in American polo, if not the very zenith of the game in this country." Today, Lake Forest continues the tradition, and polo is played yearly throughout August. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel "The Great Gatsby", Tom Buchanan's polo ponies are said to have been bred in Lake Forest.

People associated with Lake Forest

Arts, Literature, Humanities and Entertainment

* James T. Aubrey, Jr., television and film executive
* Bix Beiderbecke jazz cornet player and pianist
* Andrew Bird, musician/songwriter
* Tom & Daisy Buchanan (fictional)
* Mat Devine, lead singer of Chicago based alternative rock band Kill Hannah
* Dave Eggers, writer
* F. Scott Fitzgerald, author
* Jean Harlow, actress
* Jennifer Aniston, actress
* John Mahoney, actor
* Mr. T, actor/professional wrestler
* Sam Weller, author and journalist
* Robin Williams, actor and comedian
* Vince Vaughn, actor
* Jay Chandrasekhar, actor, director
* John Hughes, writer, director, producer
* Chris Farley, actor, comedian
* Richard Widmark, actor
* Lisel Mueller, poet; winner of the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for poetry
* Lauren Holly, actress
* Elliott Delman, guitarist/composer
* Gary Plaster, author
* Ray Starmann, screenwriter
* Bill Schulz, journalist, FOX NEWS
* Brittany "McKey" Sullivan, contestant on America's Next Top Model, cycle 11


* William Proxmire, United States Senator
* Judy Baar Topinka, Illinois State Treasurer
* Pete Wilson, former Governor of California


* Rex Grossman, Chicago Bears quarterback
* Joe Girardi, Chicago Cubs catcher; Manager of the New York Yankees
* Cade McNown, Chicago Bears quarterback
* Mickey Cochrane, Major League Baseball catcher
* Bobby Douglas, Chicago Bears quarterback
* Keith Magnuson, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman, team captain
* Carl Haas, Auto Racing impresario
* George Halas, longtime head coach of Chicago Bears; Team's headquarters and training facility, Halas Hall, built in 1997
* Mike Cowney, Chicago Bears waterboy
* Edith Cummings, professional female golfer; 1924 U.S. Women's Amateur Champion (Lake Forest's Onwensia Club), first female to appear on cover of Time magazine, August 25th, 1924; inspiration for the character of Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby.
* Matt Grevers, 2008 Olympic swimmer
* Ryan Miller, track & field
* Alex Galvan, Soccer, Basketball, Track & Field
* Chip Beck, professional golfer


* Orville C. Beattie, chairman/CEO, A.S. Hansen
* Marshall Field, businessman/ex-owner of Marshall Field's (now part of Macy's)
* Miles D. White, businessman, CEO of Abbott Laboratories
* Charles "Cork" R. Walgreen III, third president of Walgreens
* J. Ogden Armour, American meatpacking magnate
* Andrew Watson Armour III, American meatpacking magnate
* Louis F. Swift, American food and tobacco magnate
* Cyrus H. McCormick, American inventor, founder of the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company (International Harvester)
* Edward F. Carry, President of the Pullman Company
* John T. Pirie, American wholesale and retail business magnate; Chairman of Carson Pirie Scott; Mayor of Lake Forest (1911-1914)
* Percy A. Wood, President of United Airlines; June 10, 1980, suffered cuts and burns after opening a package sent by Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.
* Albert Blake Dick, American businessman, founder of A. B. Dick Company; licensed autographic printing patents from Thomas Edison and coined the word "mimeograph" in 1884; Mayor of Lake Forest (1928-1931)


* Edith Rockefeller McCormick, socialite
* Margaret "Peg" Carry, socialite; daughter of Edward F. Carry, president of the Pullman Company; friend of F. Scott Fitzgerald
* Karl Patterson Schmidt, herpetologist
* Jim Lovell, astronaut on Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8, and Apollo 13; author of "Lost Moon"; owner of Lovell's of Lake Forest
* Catherine Warren, Miss Illinois USA 2006
* Frank Lloyd Wright, architect; the Charles Glore Residence
* Howard Van Doren Shaw, architect
* Ginevra King, American socialite, inspiration for many female characters in F. Scott Fitzgerald's work, notably Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby
* David Adler, architect
* Sylvester Lind, founder of Lake Forest; key figure in the Underground Railroad
*Brittany "McKey" Sullivan, contestant on America's Next Top Model, cycle 11.

Works associated with Lake Forest

* "Lay of the Land" (novel by Richard Ford: Frank Bascombe's in laws are from Lake Forest)
* "Ordinary People" (novel)
* "Ordinary People" (film)
* "Four Friends" (film)
* "The Fury" (film)
* "Uncle Buck" (film)
* "Miracle on 34th St. (1994)" (film)
* "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius"
* "The Great Gatsby" (novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald)
* "Official Preppy Handbook"
* "Ocean's Twelve" (film)
* "The Package" (film)
* "Gatsby's Girl" (novel)
* "Pet Sematary" (novel by Stephen King)
* "The Placebo Effect" (film)
* "The Kitchen Boy"
* "The Razor's Edge"
* "Class" (film)
* "The Perfect Hour" (literary biography)
* "" (film)
* "It" (novel by Stephen King), Lake Forest is mentioned early in the book
* "This Old House" (TV show)
* "Cheaper by the Dozen 2" (film), Lake Forest is where Jimmy Murtaugh's children go to a private school
* "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (film), parts of movie filmed in uptown Lake Forest
* "The Death of the Detective" (novel)
* "Girl's Just Want to Have Fun" (film), Sarah Jessica Parker's snobby rival Natalie is from Lake Forest


External links

* [ City of Lake Forest]
* [ Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society web site]
* [ Lake Forest Library]
* [ African-American History in Lake Forest]
* [ Lake Forest Open Lands]
* [http://NorthmoorNeighbors.Org/ Lake Forest Community Portal]
* [ Lake Forest High School]
* [ School District 67]
* [ Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce]
* [ Deerpath Golf Course]

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