Author: Cynthia Leigh

Contact us if you are interested in joining our team as a writer on the subject of landscape architecture.

Historic O.C.Simonds Park

Check out this blog. Really great read. Excellent research and entertaining – written from the voice of Simonds.

http://savingforestpark.org/o-c-simonds

 

This blog began in response to the Lake Forest Garden Club of Lake Forest, Illinois deciding they wanted to enter a competition to win a prize and recognition from the GCA. They convinced the City of Lake Forest to let them bring in a modernist East Coast landscape architect (read: rock wall vernacular) to re-do the 1902 O.C. Simonds park that sits at the top of the bluff along Lake Michigan in a district that is on the National Historic Register. Needless to say, there was little public advertising of charettes and brainstorming sessions. Mostly, it was the nearby neighbors and Garden Club members who were contacted about the events, but the city and GC adamantly says that the ‘public’ was invited. (Well, yes, the GC members are taxpayers of the town.) It was pretty blatant manipulation. The poor LA who was brought in thought he was doing what everyone wanted. And he never did his homework on O.C.Simonds. Whew! It blew up in his face, but the GC is forging ahead and the City is ignoring its own Historic Preservation Commission and the local Preservation Foundation’s recommendations to not remove the iconic ‘Ring Road’ and not make it a modernist planting and not put up a centralized memorial in the park. (Maya Lin knock-off, again. sigh.)  

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