The Lake Forest Library Board acknowledges its important role and responsibility in stewarding the historic 1931 Edwin Hill Clark building and ensuring it can flourish as a public library for generations to come.
The historic building is a cherished civic asset in Lake Forest, but it comes with many constraints, including a lack of ADA accessibility, aging and inefficient infrastructure, limited land for expansion, and insufficient and inflexible interior space that hampers the delivery of needed library services and resources.
In order to preserve and restore the original edifice, while balancing the need to provide modern library services and collections, as well as honor the visual character of Lake Forest, one solution under consideration is the replacement and expansion of the existing 1978 north wing.
As the Library Board evaluates options, it is committed to delivering a design that meets the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and the City of Lake Forest Historic Preservation Standards as interpreted and applied by the Lake Forest Historic Preservation Commission.
Several design directions have been explored to help the Library Board understand the range of possibilities, but the process is ongoing and at present no final design has been determined.
The Library Board greatly appreciates the feedback it continues to solicit and receive from the Lake Forest community, both from residents who share its enthusiasm for safeguarding the historic building, and from those library users seeking new and innovative services.