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Lake Geneva Bus Tour

Date: 
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Time: 
8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Location: 
Meet at the Historical Society, 361 E. Westminster, Lake Forest
Cost: 
$90 for members, $100 for non-members - SOLD OUT

This event is SOLD OUT.

Join us for a special bus tour of the Lake Geneva area. Fueled by easy access via the railroad, the clean water and beautiful landscape lured successful Chicago families to create a second home away from the heat of Chicago summers. This tour will take us to private homes and historical sites and give insight into life in the ”Newport of the West.”

The bus departs from the Historical Society promptly at 8:30 am and will return at 5:30 pm. Our guide will be local historian John Notz, who has published writings on lake area estates, including all those visited, and has family roots there.

Lake Forest and Lake Geneva shared many architects and landscape architects including notable Lake Forest residents Howard Van Doren Shaw and Charles Frost. Landscape architects Olmsted Brothers, Warren Manning, Jens Jensen and Ossian C. Simonds also feature prominently in both communities. In fact, the Lake Forest Garden Club made a visit in 1914 to learn about the gardens in Lake Geneva.  

Our first stop will be the Geneva Lake Museum with a quaint main street and other skillfully presented exhibits. Next, we will visit a private lakefront estate, designed by Lake Forest’s own Howard Van Doren Shaw. The house has been described as “a perfect harmony between old-world elegance and modern technology, grand European influences, and an appreciation for the natural world.” 

Following the estate visit, we will enjoy a box lunch and a visit to the Yerkes Observatory, owned by The University of Chicago. Built in 1896, the observatory was designed by architect Henry Ives Cobb in the Beaux Arts style with exquisite terra cotta detailing.

Another highlight of the tour is a visit to Penwern, among the best Frank Lloyd Wright designs built on Delavan Lake. Built in 1900, it is now a private home and has been lovingly restored. An example of Victorian splendor will be our next stop, the acclaimed Black Point historic site (1888-Adolph Cudell, architect; ca 1905-Olof Benson, landscape architect) built as a summer “cottage” for the Chicago brewer Conrad Seipp and his extended family.

We will finish the day at the Lake Geneva Country Club (1915-Robert Closson Spencer, Jr., architect), where we will have a brief tour and refreshments.  

The cost of the tour is $90.00 members, $100.00 nonmembers, and includes transportation, box lunch, all museum fees and refreshments. SOLD OUT.