255 Mayflower Road

Year of award: 
1997
Award category: 
Restoration
Original architect: 
Howard Van Doren Shaw
Year built: 
1897

The owners of this property have meticulously restored Howard Van Doren Shaw's earleist residence in Lake Forest.  Designed in 1897, the Georgian revival house known as Little Orchard had been remodeled in the 1930s by Stanley Anderson.  In the 1950s it was remodeled in a contemporary style by A. James Speyer, Curator of 20th Century Painting at the Art Institute of Chicago with the purpose of creating a setting for the modern art collection of Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Byron Smith.  The house had been empty and unattended for six years prior to the current owners' purchase. Given its age and site on lake-front property, it had been targeted by some for demolition.

The owners spent more than two years working to return the house to its original style.  Referring to old photographs and keeping the history of the house in mind, they installed new plaster and mechanical systems, stripped all lead paint inside and out and repainted, refinished floors, and added a new compatible garage.  Old bathroom fixtures were kept and refurbished, and modern light fixtures were replaced with antiques.  Today the house again is a vital part of Lake Forest as well as a wonderful home for the owners and their family.