Park Forest Historical Society

Park Forest, Illinois

About this nonprofit organization
The specific mission of the society is: To preserve, interpret, and celebrate the unique history, diversity and achievements of the Village of Park Forest, Illinois through exhibits, publications, and special programs;
To educate residents, students and visitors, in all aspects of the village history;
To promote and support historical research;
To encourage donations, and enlist volunteers, for the Park Forest Local History Collection and Archive and the 1950s Park Forest House Museum;
To honor those who have contributed to our community over a long period of time.
The society operatesthe 1950s Park Forest House Museum in an original rental townhome. It had been open since 1998 in another townhome, was closed for 6 months, and re-opened to the public on December 1, 2007. The archive collection, developed by the library over 27 years, is now 'homeless", stored in PODS out of town. The society can take possession of the collection if we can find a suitable building to rehab to hold the collection and provide a public research area. We have been seriously considering leasing and retrofitting one of two buildings in the original shopping center (one of the first in the country). We have also considered purchasing or leasing a 4 unit of the townhomes, to have the museum and archive contiguous. We are preparing to do a feasibility study for launching a nationwide fundraising campaign to "Give Our History a Home." We need help in the feasibility needs assessment/capital campaign, in evaluating the sites, preparing plans, and in the case of townhome use, we would need a structural engineer's survey for load bearing capacity.