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A service of the Illinois State Library and the Office of the Illinois Secretary of StateILLINOIS DIGITAL ARCHIVES


Park Forest -- An Illinois Planned Community

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  1. Marshall Field's Groundbreaking, interior shot
    A promotional shot of ACB and Field's officers. Left to right: Sam Beber, unidentified,Philip Klutznick, a Field's person, Nathan Manilow, and another unidentified gentleman.

  2. More about our community activities
    A series of full-page newspaper ads with photographs inset, a map to Park Forest, and text highlighting some aspect of life in Park Forest.

  3. More To Come Home To in Park Forest
    A color brochure advertising the rental townhomes, with the logo "Whatever you do there is more to come home to in Park Forest".

  4. Nathan Manilow
    Photo from the Star Newspaper, ca. 1960. This photograph shows Nathan Manilow later in life. We have no identification for the two men on either side of Mr. Manilow.

  5. Nathan Manilow, Carroll F. Sweet, Sr., and Joseph Goldman
    A portrait found in the promotional piece, "Where Thistles Grew Before".

  6. New individual homes for sale in Park Forest
    American Community Builders full page newspaper advertisement for 2 bedroom native stone and brick homes.

  7. No objections to model city raised at zoning hearing
    A four paragraph article announcing zoning changes for Park Forest.

  8. Park Forest: A Model for U.S. Planned Towns
    Richard Sherman, then a history professor at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, wrote a nine-part series on South Suburban history for the Star Newspapers in 1988. This fifth article was published out of sequence. The author gives population growth statistics for 1940-1960 for Bloom, Rich, Crete and Monee Townships. He discusses briefly how Park Forest came to be as a completely planned suburb, and describes its impact on the region. Published by Star Newspapers: Chicago Heights, IL.

  9. Philip M Klutznick, Mr. Bozell[?], and Jerrold Loebl
    A portrait found in the promotional piece, "Where Thistles Grew Before".

  10. Philip M. Klutznick
    A portrait found in the promotional piece, "Where Thistles Grew Before". The caption reads, "Philip M. Klutznick, above, is president of the American Community Builders Inc., the Chicago enterprise which has undertaken the construction of a new city 30 miles south of the Loop. He is former commissioner of the Federal Public Housing Authority."

  11. Philip M. Klutznick
    Mr. Klutznick, one of the developers, discusses the history of Park Forest, Illinois, a post-World War II planned community built by American Community Builders beginning in 1946.

  12. Philip M. Klutznick and Allan S. Harrison
    A portrait found in the promotional piece, "Where Thistles Grew Before,". "Openness of space is what we're striving for in these apartments," Philip M. Klutznick, president of the American Community Builders, Inc.of Chicago tells Allan S. Harrison of New York, construction engineer, as they discuss the problems of building dwelling places for 5,500 families in a completely new and modern town.

  13. Plan of Town
    The Plan of Town was the development plan and related information as prepared by American Community Builders’ staff the architects and planners in 1946. It was submitted to the Federal Housing Authority on November 12, 1946, as their proposal for building the town, Park Forest, Illinois.
    The Introduction and other essays display the idealism which was behind the creation of the village.
    Population, potential employers within a 10-20 mile radius, commercial and railroad locations, transportation available to the area are included. There are sections on Schools and Churches, First Houses, Recreation and Play Space, Utility Services, Geological and Water Surveys, Sanitary Sewage Disposal and Drainage, Commercial Facilities, Industrial Development, and Land and Financial Data.
    The often quoted essay, “This is the American Way of Life,” is located just in front of Land and Financial Data. Land and Financial Data includes the Appraisal Report by Ernest H. Lyons, J. Alton Lauren and J. Soule Warterfield. Status of Land for Townsite includes the tracts of land bought to put the town together, previous owners and when the tracts were purchased.
    There is a section on Cost Estimates for the Nine Areas which made up Park Forest.
    The plan ends with 15 vitae of the principles of American Community Builders and of several early employees. A brief vitae is here for the city planner, Elbert Peets.
    Seven illustrations are included in the original document and three detailed charts are scanned into the project as separate photographic record items.
    Drawing 1: an architectural rendering of a court which was used as in the Plan of Town .
    Drawing 2: a pencil sketch of a proposed apartment complex in Park Forest. These buildings were never built.
    Drawing 3: a color pencil sketch of a small section of the shopping center in Park Forest. Although this shows a store labeled as Sears, this was not the eventual location of the Sears store.
    Drawing 4: a color pencil sketch of a small section of the shopping center in Park Forest. This is a very general drawing giving the feel of the appearance of the Plaza and parking lot.
    Drawing 5: a color pencil sketch of a small section of the ideal type of factory to be built in Industry Park in Park Forest. No such factory was ever built. Drawings 1-5 were part of Plan of Town submitted to the Federal Housing Authority in 1946. The architects were Loebl, Schlossman & Bennett.
    Drawing 6: a map inserted in the Plan of Town, indicating areas within a 10, 20, and 30 mile radius of Park Forest, Illinois.

  14. Rabbi calls a place of unity home
    Newspaper article about Rabbi Minard Klein, from The Star, November 21, 1993.

  15. Rabbi Minard Klein
    Rabbi Minard Klein served Temple Beth Sholom, beginning in 1959. In his oral history transcript he discusses his selection as Rabbi, describes the Temple and the village in 1959, transiency of tenants, the lack of an older generation in the early years, the emphasis on children, the character of the villagers and of congregants, Temple Beth Sholom, the parsonage, assistance from Klutznick, Manilow and Beber, a comparison of Park Forest with other places, the cultural atmosphere, emphasis on children, and adult programs.

  16. Rents and Housing, 1940-1946
    A chart included in the binder with "Where Thistles Grew Before."

  17. Richard Bennett
    Richard Bennett of Loebl, Schlossman and Bennett, architects for Park Forest, discusses the planning and design of the village, shopping center, churches he designed, school designs, street design, his relationship with Philip Klutznick and the character of the early villagers.

  18. Robert Dinerstein

  19. Roots of Racial Diversity Formed 35 Years Ago
    Dr. Larry McClellan, a professor, retired from Governors State University, and a noted local historian, writes the column, "Time Frame," which runs once a month in the Star Newspaper. In this article he writes about the Park Forest Human Relations Commission. Published by Star Newspapers: Tinley Park, IL.

  20. Ross DeLue
    Ross DeLue, his wife Leona and their five year-old daughter, Mary, were one of the first three families to move in to Park Forest in August 1948. Because the DeLues were the only one of the three families to remain in Park Forest, they were often regarded as Park Forest's first residents and certainly the longest in-residence, only moving to Florida in late 1999. Mr. DeLue died on January 3, 2000.
    In his transcript, he discusses the post-WWII housing crisis, his contacts with American Community Builders as a newspaper reporter trying to write about Park Forest, a description of the village when they first moved in, and moving day for the first families. Mr. DeLue was very involved in the development of the schools in Park Forest, so he discusses the early school arrangements with Chicago Heights, the building of Lakewood School,and School District 173. He also mentions the relationship between Mr. Manilow and Mr. Klutznick, the Klutznick family who lived in his court, and the relationship between American Community Builders and the village government. He headed the committee to celebrate the village's 21st Anniversary, and he discusses that here.

  21. Ross DeLue and Leona DeLue Newspaper Article
    Bill Harris describes the first charter of townhouses in Park Forest.

  22. Welcome To Park Forest
    Park Forest Homes, Inc. brochure advertising the amenities in Park Forest.

  23. Westward Ho! The 60's, 70's See Population, Economic Shifts
    Richard Sherman, then a professor of history at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, Illinois, wrote a nine-part series of articles for the Star Newspapers in 1988 on the history of the south suburbs. This article contains a number of comparative statistics on population trends in the south suburbs, census gifures from the 1950's through the 1970's, and an interpretation of what economic and social impact the population shifts had on the area.

  24. White copy of map of Park Forest rental areas plan.
    A plan found in the promotional piece, "Where Thistles Grew Before."

  25. Wholesale Prices, 1926-1946
    A chart included in the binder with Where Thistles grew before.

  26. Yvonne Robinson
    Yvonne Robinson grew up in Chicago Heights and watched Park Forest being built. She moved here with her husband, Leonard, and two of her sons in about 1963. She was in education all of her working life, ending up in grade school administration. In her transcript, she discusses her move to the village, her involvement with the Gavin Foundation, and with the Fellowship for Action.

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