Lake Forest is a city located in Lake County, Illinois, and is part of the Chicago metropolitan area. With a population of 19,375, it is situated along the shore of Lake Michigan and is known for its scenic beauty, historical significance, and architectural marvels. The city was founded in 1857 and has a rich history that includes the Potawatomi tribe, abolitionist movements, and a unique approach to urban planning designed to maintain its tranquil environment.
Lake Forest was originally inhabited by the Potawatomi tribe until 1836. The modern city was founded in 1857 and was initially designed to provide limited access to prevent outside traffic and maintain its tranquil environment. Over the years, it has become one of the most architecturally significant suburbs of Chicago, featuring estates and homes designed by renowned architects like Howard Van Doren Shaw, Frank Lloyd Wright, and David Adler. The city also has a rich African-American history, with many residents associated with the Abolitionist movement.
Location and Geography
The city is located at 42.2586N and -87.8407W and is about 35 miles north of downtown Chicago. It covers a total area of 17.246 square miles, mostly land. Lake Forest is part of the North Shore area of Chicago and is relatively secluded, especially the neighborhoods near the coast of Lake Michigan.
Housing and Economy
The median home price in Lake Forest is a staggering $977,000, and the average property tax is $28,822, with a county tax rate of 2.95%. The city’s ZIP code is 60045. The economy is robust, with several Fortune 500 companies headquartered here, including Tenneco, Brunswick, and Hospira.
Places of Interest and Lifestyle
Lake Forest is home to several nature preserves, thanks to the Lake Forest Open Lands Association, which has acquired more than 700 acres within the city limits. The city is also known for its country clubs and social activities, including the Onwentsia Club, one of the premiere social and sporting clubs in the Midwest. Lake Forest has a rich cultural scene with venues like the Gorton Center and the Citadel Theatre Company offering a variety of programs.
Weather and Climate
The city experiences a typical Midwestern climate with cold winters and warm summers. Proximity to Lake Michigan can moderate temperatures but also brings additional snowfall during winter.
Nearby Cities and Transportation
Lake Forest has excellent transportation links, including two Metra commuter railroad stations. The city is also accessible through the Tri-State Tollway (I-94) and the Skokie Highway (U.S. Highway 41).
Lake Forest offers a blend of historical richness, architectural grandeur, and natural beauty. Its high median home prices and property taxes reflect its exclusivity and appeal to those looking for a luxurious lifestyle close to Chicago but away from its hustle and bustle.
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