1950s Park Forest House Museum Announces March Hours

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– The Park Forest Historical Society announces that the former 50th Anniversary House Museum has been renamed the 1950s Park Forest House Museum. The house museum is located at 397 Forest Boulevard, near the corner of Indianwood and Forest Blvd. Parking is available within one block of the museum; visitors can be dropped off at the front or back door. The museum still concentrates on the first five years of the Village of Park Forest, 1948-1953, representing an original rental townhome as it might have been furnished in those years, and interpreting the early development and history of the village. It includes a classroom representing Forest Boulevard School, one of the schools set up in the rental units in the first years of the village.

The museum will be open every Saturday in March from 1-3 p.m., with a docent on duty to describe the contents and the history of the town. Since it is staffed by volunteers, the society does recommend that visitors try to call to be sure the museum is staffed, at their new phone number, 708-679-1950. The museum can be shown by appointment, with prior arrangement, by calling that phone number, or by calling the curator, Jane Nicoll, 708-481-4252. A donation of $2 is requested for visitors over age 12. Tours may be priced at a higher rate.

The society also maintains a second unit at 395 Forest Blvd. intended for rotating exhibits, but also containing 1950s furnishings. The exhibit for Spring 2007 is, “How Integration Came to Park Forest.” The exhibit displays copies of documents and articles on the peaceful integration of Park Forest, which took place in December 1959, while many other suburbs were experiencing violent demonstrations over integration attempts.

Also included are displays from the 50th Anniversary of Park Forest naming some of the earliest African American families who came to Park Forest, and with displays prepared by some of those families about their experiences and accomplishments.

Curator Jane Nicoll says, “The society is seeking volunteers willing to help show the museum on Saturdays, or for showings by appointment. We are also looking for volunteers to help with work on fundraising for a new home for our archival collection and for work on the collection itself.”

The society’s work and a virtual tour of the house museum can be viewed at www.parkforesthistory.org. It can be contacted at [email protected].