Hathaway

Year of award: 
2002
Award category: 
Neighborhood
Original architect: 
Ralph Varney, Buildings / Jens Jensen, Landscape
Year built: 
1923-1926

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and cited as a City of Lake Forest Landmark, the Meadowood Dairy complex was built by Clifford Milton Leonard on property originally consisting of 150 acres west of the intersection of Deerpath and Waukegan Roads. In 1928-1930, Meadowood Farm supplied the community with pure milk from Guernsey cows and fresh eggs from single-comb, white leghorn chickens.

While on a trip to the French countryside, Mr. Leonard fell in love with the farm buildings of Normandy.  Architect Varney used this architectural style in designing Mr. Leonard's gentleman's farm.  Plans were drawn for a main house (never built), a round-barn dairy barn, a carriage barn and pony shed, a milk house with testing barn and offices, a chicken house, and three cottages for farm staff. 

Jens Jensen's plans for the site envisioned a truly magnificent place, complete with not only farm fields, but a lake, a campfire site, bird feeding tables, a bird bath, a bird house, players' hill and ring, tennis court, lanes, a water pool, flower gardens, vegetable and small fruit gardens, an orchard, and an allee of trees leading to the manor house.  Extant from this plan are the stone gates of the Waukegan Road entrance, several original farm walls, and masonry cow and pig heads adorning the main stone barnyard gate.

All of the original buildings have been converted to private residences since 1958.  The owners have carefully preserved the architecture, details, and fixtures of the buildings as well as the amenities of the original farm.  An original well still stands, and the slop tank has been converted into a charming gazebo. Recently the neighbors joined together to restore the original thatched roofs.  All the neighbors have enhanced the property remaining with the complex and the framewrok of Jensen's original landscape with lovely cottages.