Lake Forest is a city located in Lake County, Illinois, United States. The city is south of Waukegan along the shore of Lake Michigan, and is a part of the Chicago metropolitan area and the North Shore. It was founded around Lake Forest College and was laid out as a town in 1857 as a stop for travelers making their way south to Chicago. The Lake Forest City Hall, designed by Charles Sumner Frost, was completed in 1898 and originally housed the fire department, the Lake Forest Library, and city offices.
As Lake Forest was first developed in 1857, the planners laid roads that would provide very limited access to the city in an effort to prevent outside traffic and further isolate the tranquil settlement from neighboring areas. Though considerably more accessible today, due in part to the extensive new construction taking place further west, the much smaller neighborhood of eastern Lake Forest, near the coast of Lake Michigan, remains relatively secluded and is one of the most scenic, historical, and architecturally significant suburbs of Chicago. These neighborhoods include estates and homes designed by distinguished architects like Howard Van Doren Shaw, David Adler, Frank Lloyd Wright, Arthur Heun, Henry Ives Cobb, and modernist George Fred Keck among others. Landscape architects Frenderick Law Olmsted and Jens Jensen also designed projects in Lake Forest. The historic Market Square, designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw, was completed in 1916 as a commercial center for Lake Forest. Market Square is composed of a wide variety of shops and restaurants including Talbots, William-Sonoma, J. Crew, and Einstein Bros Bagels.
The headquarters of Fortune 500 companies Tenneco, Brunswick, and Hospira are located in Lake Forest; Covered Logistics also has its headquarters there, while W. W. Grainger and BFG Technologies are located in unincorporated Lake County, near Lake Forest. The Chicago Bears training facility and headquarters, Halas Hall, opened in 1997 in west Lake Forest.
Lake Forest is noted in the Chicago area for its history of polo, once being the westernmost establishment of the sport in the United States. It was home to the “East-West clash of 1933” in which a team of “Westerners”, today Midwesterners, challenged the best of the Eastern US polo teams, winning two of three matches. Today, it continues the tradition, and polo is played yearly throughout August. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, Tom Buchanan’s polo ponies are said to have been bred in it. Furthermore, the character of Daisy Buchanan was based on Fitzgerald’s ex-girlfriend Lake Forest resident Ginevra King, whose family brought polo ponies to it.