The Winter Wonderwalk House Walk is based in Lake Forest, Illinois where Woodlands Academy has been located since 1904. Lake Forest’s rich 153-year history boasts an amazing range of architecturally important homes that offer exquisite options for touring. Four homes are opened annually for the Winter Wonderwalk event. Each residence possesses noteworthy designs and features, and most are historically significant having been designed by prominent architects. Our tour homes are primarily located in Lake Forest, but from time to time a historical gem from Lake Bluff or Knollwood, Illinois will also be included on the tour!
Planned in 1857, Lake Forest became more accessible after the Chicago Northwestern Railroad (new in 1855) began stopping in Lake Forest at Farwell Crossing. Founders of Lake Forest College were inspired with this piece of land on Lake Michigan halfway between Evanston and Waukegan and chose it as the location for the new college they would build. Some of Chicago’s wealthier families saw Lake Forest as a secluded location to settle away from the heat and congestion of a growing Chicago. From 1880-1910 Lake Forest’s population nearly quadrupled and new homes were being designed by some of the most distinguished architects of the time. Lake Forest real estate features the designs of such gifted architects as David Adler, Stanley Anderson, Asher Carter, Jerome Cerny, Edwin Clark, Henry Ives Cobb, Frederic Delano, Winston Elting, Frederick Perkins, John Ruskin, Howard Van Doren Shaw, and more. Woodlands Academy is fortunate to be part of a community which allows our guests to view these amazing homes ‘dressed for the holidays.’