Welcome to Dickinson Hall!
Location: Grove Cultural Campus
100 East Old Mill Road, Lake Forest, Illinois 60045
Contact us: Phone: 847-234-2209
Hours: Monday – Friday
8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Closed Saturday & Sunday
(except for special events)
Dickinson Hall is your go-to resource if you are over 50, newly retired, or new to the area. We have great parties, fabulous trips, fascinating lectures, classes and exciting fitness programs! Social Services are also available to help older adults maintain their independence and remain in their own homes, including transportation. Medicare guidance, a lending closet and a variety of other support services.
Visitors are always welcome to drop in and experience the friendliness of the members and staff. The diversified program offerings range from art to wellness and everything in between. Stop in for a tour and a copy of the latest Newsbrief.
Dickinson Hall was built in 1929 as part of the Ridge Farm campus. Designed by noted architect Edwin H. Clark in the classic brick Georgian style, it served as a dining hall for Ridge Farm, a preventorium for pre-tubercular children. The mission of the preventorium was to provide a healthful life for girls at risk of contracting tuberculosis by providing them with fresh air, proper nutrition and exercise. When tuberculosis was cured in the late 1940’s another use for Ridge Farm was sought.
Under the guidance of consultant Dr. Irene Josselyn, the Board of Directors gave their time and effort to develop Ridge Farm into a pioneer residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed children. Ridge Farm was recognized as an outstanding program by the Child Welfare League of America. In 1962 Ridge Farm merged with Chapin Hall in Chicago.
The property was purchased by Grove School in 1965 for “diagnostic, educational and therapeutic” opportunities for multi-handicapped children. It continued to operate as a school until 1995.
After being vacant for several years the City of Lake Forest purchased the twenty-eight acre site in 1998. The Senior Resources Commission submitted a proposal to use Dickinson Hall as a senior center and with the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Senior Citizens Foundation undertook the task of raising funds for the renovation.
The Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Senior Center opened the doors of Dickinson Hall to welcome a new generation in June of 2001 following a 2.5 million dollar renovation.