Dickinson Hall


Be Alert for Ruse Burglaries

Our community is experiencing an increase in ruse burglaries. Ruse burglaries are crimes in which the offender(s) (often in teams) use deception to distract their victim to commit a burglary. The Lake Forest Police Department is encouraging residents to be alert and not let anyone you don't know into your home, including someone claiming to work for the City, utility service, or cable provider. If you see something suspicious, call 911 immediately. Learn more.

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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 are available.

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.


 Tricia Schwall, Senior Resources Manager 

 Tara Purtell , Administrative Assistant/Transportation Coordinator

 Katie Dolan, Program Supervisor

 Jennifer Raines, Senior Advocate

LocationGrove Cultural Campus

100 East Old Mill Road
Lake Forest, IL 60045

Phone (Main Line): 847-234-2209
Fax: 847-615-3526
Email: dhall@cityoflakeforest.com

Monday – Friday
8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Closed Saturday & Sunday
(except for special events)

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. If you would like more information on the Foundation or would like to donate, please click HERE.

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.


By visiting Dickinson Hall, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19. In compliance with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), those traveling to areas of high risk should stay home if possible after returning and monitor their health for 14 days in order to protect the health and safety of yourself, as well as others.
Stay Informed!