1950s PF House Museum Loses Lease – Forced to Close


The classroom of Forest Blvd School, where members of the Historical Society show how the first school in Park Forest was in the rental units. (Photo: Elaine U. Brownlee)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— Park Forest Historical Society President Therese Goodrich has announced the closing of the 1950s Park Forest House Museum at 395-397 Forest Blvd in Park Forest. “We have been able to stay open at this location since July 1998 due to the generosity of David Clapper and Atlantic Associates who operate the Lofts of Thorn Creek. We are grateful to them for enabling us to develop the museum and to use it to interpret the history of this unique village. The development now needs our building, so we have to close our doors and put our collection in storage.”

The society is searching for a new location for the museum, which began during the 50th Anniversary of Park Forest and depicts a home as it might have been from 1948-1953, the first five years of the village.  It also tells the story of the building of Park Forest and of the first school and library.

Curator Jane Nicoll says, “We are disappointed because we have been making real progress in publicizing the museum and how special it is.  The museum will still have a virtual tour at www.parkforesthistory.org.  The Park Forest Historical Society will still be able to help with Park Forest questions.  The best way to contact us now is at [email protected].”

The closing comes just as the nice weather would have brought more visitors.  While packing on May 8, five visitors stopped by to see the museum.  Three other visitors came through by appointment earlier in the week, one of them a former resident who now lives in Norway and wanted to be sure to see the museum for a second time on this visit.

Therese Goodrich says, “We look confidently toward the future when we can have both the archive and the museum open to the public again.  We are hoping to find a new home for the museum as soon as possible.”