Lake County Museum


Lake County Museum


Wauconda, Illinois

The regional history museum is located in what were originally the working heart of a gentleman's farm—four separate classically styled buildings arranged around a courtyard, open on its west side to the rolling countryside. We prepared a multi-phase master concept plan to manage the Museum's growth with the renovation of and additions to its historic structures to house new exhibit galleries, visitor support facilities, a museum store, archival storage rooms and offices. The first phase completely renovated the east building and connected it to the north building with a new 3000sf addition. From the courtyard, the addition appears to be a casual agglomeration of low, concrete block farm sheds and round, clapboard corncribs. Inside, the three drums form a single light-flooded assembly space versatile enough to be used for everything from school group lectures to Scarlet O’Hara’s Ball which caps the Museum’s popular Civil War battle reenactment every year. Sliding barn doors lead through wide openings to the surrounding galleries whose colors complement the Museum’s exhibits and evoke Willa Cather’s descriptions of the American Midwest. Subsequent phases have renovated the north building to provide 8000sf of additional galleries, a café and second floor artifact storage served by a large platform lift.



1999 Landmarks Illinois Driehaus Award

1992 Association of Midwest Museums Design Award

1992 National Association of Counties Design Award

Placement: The Architecture of David Woodhouse Architects, E Keegan (Chicago: I space Gallery, 2009)

Progressive Architecture, 04.1994

Inland Architect, P Meijer, 05/06.1993

Chicago Tribune, 04.12.1998

LCMA Historian, D Woodhouse, 1992 summer




Lake County Forest Preserves


Completed 1995

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Project Data

Area/Budget: 25,000sf / $750,000

Scope: master planning & renovation of 25,000sf historic regional museum in Lakewood Forest Preserve

Project Team: David Woodhouse, Chris Larsen (project architect), Julie Deprey, Catherine Osika

Beer Gorski & Graff (structural); Gamze Korobkin Caloger (mep); Hanscomb Associates (cost); Lake County Forest Preserves (landscape); Norcon Construction (general contractor)

Photographer: Judith Bromley; Jess Smith