Welcome to Lake Forest
Lake Forest (pop. 19,375), located about 30 miles north of downtown Chicago, was founded around Lake Forest College and laid out as a town in 1857 as a stop for travelers making their way south to Chicago. Market Square, in the heart of downtown, is the community center and holds two significant titles – when it was built in the early 1900s, it was the first planned shopping center in the country and home to the first true Marshall Field department store. The original water fountain and Tudor-style exterior remain. The city has more than 500 historical sites, and a large number of artists, writers, musicians, painters and photographers make their home in Lake Forest.