Lake Forest is fortunate to have a number of historic properties within the Local Register of Historic Landmark Properties & Districts in Lake Forest. In order to provide a local means of protection for the historic areas of Lake Forest, the Historic Preservation Ordinance was adopted in 1998. There are a total of five Local Historic Districts including, the East Lake Forest Historic District; the Vine/Oakwood/Green Bay Road Historic District; the Green Bay Road Historic District; the Meadowood Dairy Historic District; and the Grove School Historic District. In addition to the Historic Districts, Lake Forest has several individual properties of historical significance which are also protected by the Ordinance. The contributing properties protected by the Ordinance help to define the character of the neighborhoods in which they are located and are worthy of preservation.
Click HERE for an interactive map of the Local Historic Districts and Landmarks.
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register recognizes the historic importance of properties across the country. Properties listed on the National Register are eligible for certain financial incentives to encourage restoration and preservation but unless listed as a Local Landmark under the local Historic Preservation Ordinance, do not require review by the Lake Forest Historic Preservation Commission or fall under the regulations of the Historic Preservation Ordinance of Lake Forest. The most common financial incentive is the Property Tax Assessment Freeze Program administrated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
Local Register of Historic Properties
The purpose of Local Landmark designations and Historic Districts is to identify and protect properties that are important to the history and architectural fabric of Lake Forest. Properties listed on the Local Register are subject to the regulations of the Historic Preservation Ordinance of Lake Forest. The Ordinance provides added protection against insensitive additions and alterations or demolition in an effort to preserve the historic integrity of the property.
According to the National Parks Service, there are four main treatments for historic properties - preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction. The method of treatment for a historic structure should be carefully chosen to best maintain the historic quality of the structure or landscape.
Other Resources on Historic Preservation
Lake Forest Preservation Foundation
Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society
Secretary of Interior's Standards