Park Forest Photograph Collection

Some of these photographs have been scanned, with digital images on the "History" computer at the Archive. Several had copy negatives and 3" x 5" resin coated copies made by Charles "Bo" Lawrence, ca. 1985 through 2004. Some had 8" x 10" prints made as well. These copies were made with $500 allocated each year for a number of years by the Park Forest Public Library Board of Directors. Some were made with donations from the Park Forest Historical Society and some with money from fees collected from authors and publishers for photograph use.

Bernard Klein Photograph and Negative Collection

--Ben Callard Collection, Accession A1993.19.2 Bernard "Bernie" Klein was a professional photographer who lived in Park Forest with his wife Judie and son, "Rusty." They moved to Park Forest in February 1949, living at 3048 Western Avenue. In early 1952, the family moved to 140 Marquette Street in Park Forest. From very early in his Park Forest residency Bernie was doing advertising and public relations photography for American Community Builders, developers of Park Forest. Many of his photographs were commissioned by Mayer and O'Brien Public Relations firm, and are part of that collection [Mayer and O'Brien Publicity Photographs Collection, Accession A1988.19.3.] They are cross-referenced in the accession records. Several of his photographs became iconic images of Park Forest and were used numerous times by Chicago newspapers. His early business was called "Park Forest Photography."

He was employed up to 1953 as engineering photographer with International Harvester Company. His wife, Judie was involved in Park Forest Playhouse theater group, and Bernie was involved in the production and photographic end. The collection includes his photograph of the cast of, "Analysis in Wonderland" from May 1954. His Photographer's notebook contains photographs of actors in makeup.

On June 15, 1953 Mr. Klein opened "Camera Corner" at 101 Plaza with his wife Judie, and his brother Larry Klein managed the store. They sold photographic equipment and Bernard did portrait work of all kinds and for all ages. Bernard also conducted a photography class for the Park Forest police force, free of charge before opening Camera Corner.

At some point in the 1960s, Bernard Klein passed away. His photograph business was sold to Ben Callard of Crete, including the negatives and the rights to the images. Later, Mr. Callard sold the business to Phillip Brin, who operated it into the late 1980s as Park Forest Studio. Mr. Callard and Mr. Brin each donated prints, negatives, and the rights for them to this collection in the 1990s. Because Bernard Klein's work was so iconic, and so prevalent a public relations work, other copies and additional images have emerged in other donations since 1985, and as much as possible have been included in A1993.12.

Parts of this collection are accessioned as:

  1. A1985.1 Park Forest Photography Promotional Notebook.
  2. A1987.14 Ben Callard Collection, and Accession A1993.19.2, Ben Callard Collection [which all may be numbered as A1993.19.2 now, or may have come in two different accretions.]
  3. A1993.12 Bernard Klein Photograph and Negative Collection, donated by Phillip Brin.

*The bulk of these photographs were taken by Bernard Klein. The rest were taken by Phillip Brin. The photographs cover the years 1951-1982, with one photo from 1951, the bulk from 1953-1967. Attribution is not made by the photographers on the sleeves and can only be determined by the archivist being familiar with numbering schemes used by Mr. Klein, and approximate year of transfer of the company.

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Mayer and O'Brien Publicity Photographs Collection, Accession A1988.19.3.

Mayer and O’Brien was a Public Relations firm in downtown Chicago, hired by American Community Builders (ACB) to do publicity for Park Forest. Charles “Chuck” Gold of Park Forest worked for this firm and secured the photographs for the collection when the company was going out of business in 1988. Several of these photographs became iconic images of Park Forest, used over and over again in trade magazines, Chicago newspapers and ACB’s own rental and sales brochures. Photographs in this collection are divided into subject folders, with headings for Schools, Churches, Fire Department, Houses, ACB (American Community Builders), ACB Personnel, etc. Photographs of the architectural model, and early construction of Faith United Protestant Church Education building are in this collection, along with photos of Dr. Gerson Engelmann, and Chaplain Hugo Leinberger. Many photographs in this collection have been scanned and/or have had copy prints and negatives made for the 3’ X 5” photograph collection.

Bernard Klein took a number of the photographs in the Mayer and O’Brien collection. The inventory/accession list for the Mayer and O’Brien collection cross-references photographs by Bernard Klein with the collections of his photographs, the Bernard Klein Photograph and Negative Collection.

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Archive Boxes 12a and 12b, Accession A2013.1-A 2013.1.46 and A1998.9-A1998.10 for 12a, A2013.1.47-A2013.1.87 for 12b

These boxes contain photographs gathered in the early years of the collection from a number of sources, including the Park Forest Reporter Newspaper, boxes of photographs donated by individuals, and photographs found in the Village of Park Forest vault. Since these were not filed or sorted in any way, an artificial collection was created with the photographs divided by subject.

Archive box 12a contains 48 folders of photographs featuring various events and places in Park Forest. These photographs include: American Community Builders, various anniversaries of Park Forest, architecture photos, art, celebrities, the Chamber of Commerce, churches, clubs, Governor's State University, health department, the Park Forest Public Library, Marshall Fields, and more.

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Archive box 12b contains 40 folders of photographs featuring various people and places of Park Forest. These photographs include:  Park Forest officials, the Planning Commission, the Fire Department, the State and Federal Government, Park Forest Public Works, Park Forest Recreation, various schools in Park Forest, various stores in the Park Forest Shopping Center, various streets, the Tent Meeting, Park Forest Transit System, Village Hall Construction, and the Water Treatment Plant.

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