Happy Monday everyone!  Hope you had a wonderful weekend!  Mine began in the hustle and bustle of the city and ended in my version of the country, strolling what is said to be America’s first planned shopping center.

Historic Market Square is tucked into the center of the enchantingly beautiful community of Lake Forest, Illinois, a place I’m lucky enough to call home.  Designed in 1916 by famed architect Howard Van Doren Shaw, Market Square is one of the earliest examples of urban renewel.

In the late 1800s, Lake Forest had fast become a go-to country retreat for Chicago’s wealthy.  By 1912, city officials, unhappy with the town’s unsightly business district, looked to Shaw to create a space where several businesses could operate.  Shaw’s vision for a “shopping center,” came to fruition with the creation of a U-shaped mall surrounded by parking spaces that flanked a central courtyard.

One of the highlights of the Square is the magnificent fountain, whose bronze statue, “Girl With Baby On Shoulders,” was designed by Shaw’s daughter, Sylvia Shaw Judson.


Market Square is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.