Libertyville is a village in Lake County, Illinois, United States and an affluent northern suburb of Chicago. It is located 5 miles west of Lake Michigan on the Des Plaines River.
Libertyville’s most prominent building, the Cook Mansion, was built in 1879 by Ansel Brainerd Cook, very close to the spot where Vardin’s cabin was built in the 1830s. Cook, a teacher and stonemason, became a prominent Chicago builder and politician, providing flagstones for the city’s sidewalks and taking part in rebuilding after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The two-story Victorian mansion served as Cook’s summer home as well as the center of his horse farm, which provided animals for Chicago’s horsecar lines. The building was remodeled in 1921, when it became the town library, gaining a Colonial-style façade with a pillared portico. The building is now a museum with furnishings of the period and other relevant displays. It is operated by the Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society.
Libertyville’s downtown area was largely destroyed by fire in 1895, and the village board mandated brick to be used for reconstruction, resulting in a village center whose architecture is substantially unified by both period and building material. The National Trust for Historic Preservation, gave Libertyville a Great American Main Street Award, and called the downtown “a place with its own sense of self, where people still stroll the streets on a Saturday night, and where the tailor, the hometown bakery, and the vacuum cleaner repair shop are shoulder to shoulder with gourmet coffee vendors and a microbrewery.”
In 2007, Libertyville was named the 52nd best place to live in the U.S. by CNN Money Magazine. In 2013, CNN Travel named Libertyville as one of America’s best small town comebacks and CNNMoney.com listed Libertyville as one of the best places to live for the rich and single.