LAKE FOREST: A SPECIAL PLACE
The community of Lake Forest "born of farm, forest and lake" in 1861. Developed under the leadership of Lake Forest College (then Lind University) and the Presbyterian church, Lake Forest is treasured as a residential and business setting. From beautiful Forest Park Beach on Lake Michigan, to historic Market Square, to the growing Settler's Square and Conway farms areas, Lake Forest exemplifies the harmony between nature and commerce, city and country. The government, educational and cultural agencies, recreational facilities, and business enterprises of Lake Forest are all dedicated to preserving and improving the "special" character of the community, both now and in the future.
The present building, designed as a library, was given to the city by Mrs. Charles H. Schweppe and Mrs. Stanley Keith, in memory of Mrs. Keith's first husband, Kersey Coates Reed. It was dedicated on June 7, 1931. Original Architect was Edwin Clark.
Landscape Architect was Franz Lipp.
In 1978, three new wings were officially dedicated, architects, Brener, Danforth, Rockwell. Monies for 1.1 million dollar addition were underwritten by gifts from the community and a substantial donation from the Reed family.
A three-level bookstack renovation was completed in 1990.
In 1992, the Children's Department was refurbished; designers: Down East Design . A mural by Thomas Melvin was commissioned by the Friends of Lake Forest Library for the Children's foyer.
Renovations and refurbishing were complete in the Adult Reference Room and the Friends Reading Room in 1996: designers: Down East Design. In 1996, the Deer Path Art League of Lake Forest commissioned a Michael Croydon sculpture entitled "Ex Libris", installed on the Library front lawn. The Friends also funded the restoration of the Nicolai Remisoff murals, originally done in 1931, in the Library rotunda.
In the Fall of 2000, an existing childrens' courtyard was covered and enclosed and evolved into a new room, the Louise Wells Kasian Children's Activity Center; David Woodhouse Architects; Brian T. Meade, Project Architect; Rudnick and Company, General Contractor. Furnishings were funded by Friends of Lake Forest Library. Lanscaping provided by Fiore Nursery.
The Library Business Room, was refurbished in 2003 with a generous donation from the Eugene A. and Emily L. Veto Foundation by the Friends of Lake Forest Library.
In 2005, the Library Art Room was refurbished thanks to a donation from the Friends of Lake Forest Library. Designers: Down East Design.
In 2009, there was another renovation of the Childrens Library.