760 East Westleigh Road

Year of award: 
2018
Award category: 
Preservation
Original architect: 
Loebl, Schlossman & Bennett
Year built: 
1961

The shiny, southward-rising aluminum walls and two adjacent slashes of windows east and west of the mid-century modern Chapel at Woodlands date from the mid-century modern period.  It compares with its contemporary Air Force Academy Chapel, near Colorado Springs, CO, that was designed by Walter Netsch of Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), Chicago.  The Woodlands Chapel’s dramatic stance echoes mmore directly also Frank Lloyd Wright’s c. 1950 wood-frame Unitarian Society, Madison, and a small masonry church that followed Wright’s lead as well, Le Corbusier’s Notre-Dame-du-Haut, Ronchamp, France, completed in 1955.  In the best spirit of modernism, the Woodlands Chapel pursued new formal direction while also employing a new material.  Preservation of this small modernist gem in Lake Forest lends distinction to the local diversity in architectural styles.