Weekend Wonders

Happy Monday everyone!  Hope you had a wonderful weekend!  Mine began in the hustle and bustle of the city and ended in my version of the country, strolling what is said to be America’s first planned shopping center.

Historic Market Square is tucked into the center of the enchantingly beautiful community of Lake Forest, Illinois.  Designed in 1916 by famed architect Howard Van Doren Shaw, Market Square is one of the earliest examples of urban renewel.

In the late 1800s, Lake Forest had fast become a go-to country retreat for Chicago’s wealthy.  By 1912, city officials, unhappy with the town’s unsightly business district, looked to Shaw to create a space where several businesses could operate.  Shaw’s vision for a “shopping center,” came to fruition with the creation of a U-shaped mall surrounded by parking spaces that flanked a central courtyard.

The center’s old-world facade was inspired by a trip Shaw had taken to Europe shortly before he was commissioned for the Lake Forest project.

One of the highlights of the Square is the magnificent fountain, whose bronze statue, “Girl With Baby On Shoulders,” was designed by Shaw’s daughter, Sylvia Shaw Judson.

Market Square is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Though there wasn’t a bit of sunshine to be had during our visit, it was nonetheless, a lovely place to spend the afternoon.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Make it a great day!




13 thoughts on “Weekend Wonders

    • Wow, we are on the same wavelength! I just finished watching your little video feature about Paul, the Bird Man :) Loved it! And I too really enjoyed hearing your voice! I tried to leave a comment, but it’s not showing up on your page. The problem is definitely on my end—I just haven’t be able to figure out what it is yet.

  1. Love the photos and especially your purse! I think you’d enjoy visiting Riverside, Illinois one day, another architecturally significant community. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, it has a very interesting history :-)

    • Thanks so much, V! I may have left you a couple of comments because when I didn’t see it showing up on your page I kept resubmitting it. Never considered it was being tossed into the dreaded spam folder :) Things are still not woking on my end and I’m really not sure what has gone awry. Hopefully I will figure it out :)


    • Thanks so much, Jeannie!
      I left you a comment first thing this morning about your great post but when I didn’t see it show up on your page I resubmitted it. I just learned that for some reason my comments are ending up in people’s spam folders, so please do check it out. Thanks!

  2. The architecture of the Clock tower is so interesting, the roof in particular. In Marketplaces and in University campuses, the ‘Clock tower’ seems to lend such a character to the place, one can see it from far and as you see more of it, you know you are getting closer to your destination. I sometimes wonder which function was more important, to mark time or to mark one’s orientation in the city.

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