Constructing the Past

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Lake Forest, Illinois in the Progressive Era was a highly exclusive safe haven for the elite of Chicago. Lake Forest, however, was more than a high priced suburb for successful businessmen and the children of entrepreneurs; it was a community where wealthy individuals would attempt to create the perfect environment. This paper will explore how the residents attempted to create a perfect community, from the European culture they chose to imitate to the architecture they chose for their estates, as well as the social world they created for themselves.