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At Gorton, we support our local nonprofits so they can thrive and focus on their missions by offering a shared, collaborative, and creative working environment. We currently house 10 nonprofit organizations, including the Lake Forest Preservation Foundation (LFPF). In an effort to share more information on these amazing organizations, we decided to hold informational interviews with each one.

What inspired the start of your organization? What is the mission?
In 1976, six members of the LF/LB Historical Society board (now LF/LB History Center) decided to break away from that organization and form a foundation dedicated to preserving the important historic architecture of Lake Forest. Its mission is to protect the historic visual character of Lake Forest. They work to accomplish this through advocacy, education, and funding.

What programs/services are provided?
Educational programs, tours, and publications are used to help spread the mission of LFPF. They work with many community members including homeowners, architects, and city boards and commissions. They also do research and provide grants to help preserve the historical integrity of buildings and landscapes.

What are some of their proudest accomplishments?
The restoration of the Lake Forest east-side train station, built in 1900, is one of their most recent accomplishments. They funded a historic structure report to guide the exterior renovation and then worked with the City to restore the historic interior. Some of the other projects and organizations LFPF has provided grants to include Ragdale, Elawa Farm, Gorton, Forest Park, First Baptist Church of LF, Market Square, Walden Bridge and Lake Forest College.

What are some ways people can contribute?
Joining LFPF as a member and contributing to its Annual Fund allows LFPF to support projects and continue its advocacy for the preservation of the historical character of LF.  They also appreciate volunteers who help with projects and programs by doing research and being docents.

Are there new upcoming projects?
One upcoming project will be recognizing historic buildings in the Central Business District of Lake Forest with bronze markers that will tell of their historic significance. They are also working on a new edition of their guidebook of historic properties in Lake Forest, last updated in 1995. Keep an eye out for these exciting projects!

With Covid, was there a significant impact to the organization?
Like many nonprofits, LFPF had to rethink ways of raising money and bringing light to the importance of the visual historic character of Lake Forest. Some of the ways they accomplished this was through virtual programs including four historic neighborhood self-guided walking tours and increased social media presence

Thanks to nonprofit organizations like the Lake Forest Preservation Foundation, Lake Forest continues to thrive.