CIP Update: Winter 2020

Posted November 15, 2020.

You have been on a journey with us! The Capital Improvement Project began in earnest four years ago, and we are now looking ahead to possible next steps and the timing of upcoming phases of the work.

Over these past several years, you have likely participated in  opportunities to tell us your needs and aspirations for Lake Forest Library now and into the future. In addition to these planned engagements, we have also appreciated all the other ways you have continuously shared comments and ideas with us, including:

  • during chats, calls, and emails with library staff,
  • on comment cards available in the Library,
  • through comment forms on the Library website,
  • in the comment sections of the Library’s social media channels, and
  • during meetings of the Library Board, City of Lake Forest, Historic Preservation Commission, and/or Lake Forest Preservation Foundation.

Synthesizing all of your feedback as we progress through the Capital Improvement Project is making for a richer, more relevant vision for Lake Forest Library.

You are now entering the next phase of the project with us as we work to implement your wish list for Lake Forest Library which includes:

  • restoration of the original building,
  • improved parking and access
  • spaces and programs for people of all ages, mobilities, and sensory needs,
  • improved and diversified collections,
  • support for advancing technologies and tech literacy, and
  • small and medium collaborative working spaces and study rooms.

In order to preserve the beloved 1931 building while also delivering the amenities of a 21st century library, the Library needs additional, flexible space. The architectural renderings below are the result of multiple cycles of discussion and exploration between the Library Board, HGA, and Lake Forest preservation interests. A new north wing expansion that is visually low impact and cedes prominence to the original building, while providing the space and modern facilities needed to make Lake Forest Library more accessible to all people is everyone's goal!

With a historic building originating from philanthropy, and a highly engaged community and local government, funding for this vision is planned to be a public‑private partnership
slated to cost $24 million.

For details and to participate in further community discussions about the Capital Improvement Project, please visit