Driving Directions to the Museum

DIRECTIONS TO THE 1950s PARK FOREST HOUSE MUSEUM

The Museum is open in our new home at 141 Forest Blvd as of December 1, 2007. You can reach the society via our email here. For directions from Indiana scroll to bottom of this article.

There are three main approaches to the 1950'S Park Forest House Museum in Park Forest, Illinois, 141 Forest Boulevard.
Scroll down to see which approach is best for you. We now have parking spots in front of the museum on Fir, before the driveway into the court.  Look for the "Museum Parking Only," signs.  Thank you to Chief of Police Clifford Butz! For all approaches: if there is no street parking, you may park at the Police Station at Lakewood and Forest, or at the shopping center. You can go to the end of Fir and park in the Trinity Lutheran Church lot, across Western. You can drop people off at the museum, first.  You may not park in the court.  You will be towed.

Directions for Route 1:

Take I-57 to Lincoln Highway East exit. Proceed past Lincoln Mall and all the other strip shopping centers along there. You will cross Governors Highway/Crawford, and Kedzie/211th Street. Come under the Metra commuter railway station at 211th Street.
At Orchard Drive, (traffic light) turn right, and come six long blocks.

On the right you will pass the Wetalnds Reclamation Project, a swimming pool complex and the library. At the light after the library ( Lakewood and Orchard), turn left. Come down Lakewood in the left hand lane to Forest Blvd. At the light, turn left. Come down to the next street on the right, Fir. On the corner, you will see a Central Park Apartments sign. The museum is in 141 Forest, at the corner of Forest and Fir, on the right hand side (the southeast corner.)  Street parking is in front of the museum on Fir, before the driveway into the court.  Park between the "Museum Parking Only," signs.  If there is no street parking, you may park at the Police Station at Lakewood and Forest, or at the shopping center.  You may pull into the court to drop off passengers. [ You may not park in the court.  You will be towed. ]

Directions for Route 2: 

Take I-57 to Sauk Trail exit which is both the East and West exit in one.
Turn at the light to travel East. Follow Sauk Trail through Richton Park and into Park Forest. You will cross Cicero, Governors Highway, and go under a train viaduct.

In Park Forest, turn Left at Indianwood Blvd, which has a stoplight. You will pass the high school playing field, St Irenaeus church, the shopping center, and post office. Come down Indianwood, in the left hand lane, to Forest Blvd., which only goes to the left. Cross Main Street (Stop sign). Cross Lakewood (light).  The Police Station will be on your left. Come  to the next street on the right, Fir. On the corner, you will see a Central Park Apartments sign. The museum is in 141 Forest, at the corner of Forest and Fir, on the right hand side (the southeast corner.) Park between the "Museum Parking Only" signs (several spaces). If street parking is not available, you may park in the Police lot, or at the shopping center at Lakewood and Forest. You may need to walk about 1/2 to 2 blocks, across the street. You may pull into the court to drop off passengers, or you may pull up to the curb to drop off passengers. You should not park in the court. You will be towed.

Directions for Route 3:

You can approach the museum from Western Avenue which connects to Lincoln Highway and to Sauk Trail. [Warning about taking Western Avenue: Western Avenue is crossed by Canadian National Railroad, which will have drastically increased train traffic over the next few years. (Not too bad in 2012).  Stay on Western Avenue, turn on to Main Street. Main Street has a light. CVS drug store is on the southwest corner. If you see a train, try to turn west at North Street (the U-Haul corner). You will connect with Orchard Drive, and can continue with the Orchard Drive directions.]

Drive west on Main to the stop sign at Forest. This is the view early residents had of the shopping center. Turn right on Forest and come through the light at Forest and Lakewood. Come down to the next street on the right, Fir. On the corner, you will see a Central Park Apartments sign. The museum is in 141 Forest, at the corner of Forest and Fir, on the right hand side (the southeast corner.)  Park between the "Museum Parking Only" signs (several spaces.)  If street parking is not available, you may park in the Police lot, or at the shopping center at Lakewood and Forest. You may need to walk about 1/2 to 2 blocks, across the street. You may pull into the court to drop off passengers, or you may pull up to the curb to drop off passengers. You should not park in the court . You will be towed.

Advantage of Lincoln Highway/Orchard Drive route:

The advantage to the Lincoln Highway route is that you will pass through several housing styles as you drive along Orchard Boulevard. If you have not been here before, that is the better view of the town. You especially get the feeling for green space and see the view of the rentals which the early residents would have gotten. Keep in mind as you drive that the stretch of town from Lincoln Highway up to Westwood Street/26th Street did not exist until the mid to late 1950s. The houses in that section were not built until the late 1950s to early 1960s. The only access in and out of town was via Sauk Trail or Western Avenue.

The address of the 1950s Park Forest House Museum is 141 Forest Boulevard at the corner of Forest and Fir, zip code 60466.

We hope you enjoy your visit to the 1950s Park Forest House Museum.

Directions to the 1950s Park Forest House Museum from Indiana

If you are driving up, going west on route 30, just past Dyer and St. Margaret of Mercy hospital, take a left at the light which takes you on to Sauk Trail. Taking Route 30 all the way is possible, but we don't recommend it.

1. If you take route 30 all the way (for the sake of staying on the historic byway) you should take it up through Chicago Heights and Olympia Fields. Stay on until you come to the light for Western Avenue, and turn left on Western. The general directions on the website direct you from Western Avenue and give some tips for things to look at on your way.
2. If you turn left on Sauk Trail, the road only goes in that direction. You will travel up through Sauk Village, South Chicago Heights, and the Forest Preserve, which includes the site where the first farm was and an Indian campground. There is only a stone marker along the left side of the highway--nothing to stop and see. The farm of the McCoys, near that site, were also said to have been a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Two choices:

Choice 1. You can turn right onto Western Avenue and drive to Main Street (a light) and make a left turn. You will come to Main Street and Forest Blvd, before you would enter the shopping center. Turn right and come to the corner of Forest and Fir. There is a Central Park Apartments sign on the corner. We are the unit immediately behind that sign. Park between the "Museum Parking Only" signs. You can park at the Police Station, on the street, or you can go to the end of Fir, cross Western to park at Trinity Lutheran Church (about a 2 block walk.) You may pull into the court to drop off passengers.  You May Not park in the court.  You will be towed.

Choice 2. You will cross Western Avenue at the end of the Forest Preserve. You will get to see more of Park Forest with this route. Come to Orchard Drive (a light). The interestingly shaped Church of the Holy Family will be on your left. It was designed by Edward Dart a famous (now) Mid-Century Modern architect. Turn right at the light (Orchard Drive), and follow it to Indianwood Blvd.  Turn right at Indianwood Blvd, past the shopping center, which was the first or second one built in the country. You will pass St Irenaeus church, the shopping center, and post office. Come down Indianwood, in the left hand lane, to Forest Blvd., which only goes to the left. Cross Main Street (Stop sign). Cross Lakewood (light).  The Police Station will be on your left. Come  to the next street on the right, Fir. On the corner, you will see a Central Park Apartments sign. The museum is in 141 Forest, at the corner of Forest and Fir, on the right hand side (the southeast corner.) Park between the "Museum Parking Only" signs (several spaces). If street parking is not available, you may park in the Police lot, or at the shopping center at Lakewood and Forest. You may need to walk about 1/2 to 2 blocks, across the street. You may pull into the court to drop off passengers, or you may pull up to the curb to drop off passengers. You should not park in the court. You will be towed.

If you are interested in Park Forest's history, the museum has a copy of a driving tour which can be checked out for a $5 deposit.

Restaurants in the vicinity include:  Dunagain's, on Orchard Drive, south of Lakewood Blvd, a bar which serves food; a fun 1950s McDonald's on Lincoln Highway just west of Western; Schoop's, which is a 1950s-type restaurant with fountain drinks, just east of Western; Chicago Dough Company on Sauk Trail in Richton Park, just before Governors Highway; and Carlo's which is a few blocks East of Western on Route 30. There is also a nice family-style restaurant on Western just south of Route 30, the Big Apple, only open until mid-afternoon.  Richton Perk, by the Richton Park METRA lot on Sauk Trail, near Richton Park Animal Hospital, is a coffee shop which also offers a variety of sandwiches. in an original home from early Richton.  It is quite charming.

 

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The mission of the Park Forest Historical Society is to preserve, interpret and celebrate the unique history, diversity and achievements of the Village of Park Forest, Illinois through exhibits, publications and special programs;To educate residents, students and visitors in all aspects of village history;To encourage donations and enlist volunteers for the Park Forest Local History Collection and Archive and the 1950s Park Forest House Museum;To honor those who have, over a long period of time, contributed to the Village of Park Forest.


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