Restoration of the Lake Forest Train Station, 2011

We are pleased to announce that an $835,090 federal grant has been awarded to the City of Lake Forest through the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) for the restoration of the historic Lake Forest Train Station. Constructed in 1899, the train station was designed by Lake Forest residents Charles S. Frost and Alfred H. Granger, architects for the Chicago & North Western Railroad.

The Lake Forest Preservation Foundation recognized the station was in desperate need of repair. If the deterioration were to continue, the train station, with all its charm and character, would eventually become unusable and a modern replacement inevitable. In 2008, the Preservation Foundation commissioned a $50,000 Historic Structure Report by noted preservation architect Gunny Harboe. The report laid the groundwork for an ongoing two-year collaboration with the City and State Senator Susan Garrett to secure grant funding through ITEP to preserve the train station.

The grant of $835,090, plus commitments of $150,000 from the City of Lake Forest and $250,000 from Metra, will allow restoration of the original slate roof and the exterior to begin in summer 2011. According to Gail Hodges, member of the Preservation Foundation Train Station Committee and liaison to the City for the grant, “the train station serves as a focal point of downtown Lake Forest and forms the fourth side of the historic Market Square designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw.”

While $1.2 million has been raised, additional funds are needed to complete the renovation and restoration of the train station. The Preservation Foundation will undertake a capital campaign to secure funds for interior restoration, safety and ADA improvements, thereby ensuring the preservation of our iconic Lake Forest Train Station for future generations.

Watch video showing the station under construction