The 1950s Park Forest House Museum, at 141 Forest Blvd in Park Forest, Illinois is decorated throughout February with vintage valentines and decorations. One room represents a classroom in the first school, Forest Boulevard
School, which was set up in a row of townhomes in 1949. In February, the classroom is decorated for a 1950s Valentines Day party with crepe paper candy baskets, and construction paper heart-shaped valentine “mailboxes” on each desk. Red honeycomb, puffy hearts and vintage valentines are on display throughout the house.
The museum is an original rental townhome furnished as it might have been from 1948-1953. A museum visit is a great way to get acquainted with Park Forest Illinois' unique history as the first fully-planned post-World War II suburb. It is a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane for anyone who lived in the 1950s or 1960s, or for those interested in that period, and offers a great destination for a “staycation.” Visitors are encouraged to open drawers, cupboards and closets to discover period treasures inside. Contents of the house, furnished as though a young veteran and his family occupy it, includes dolls, toys, dollhouses, books, dishes, serving pieces, furniture and clothing from the period. When is the last time you said, "Hello," to Howdy Doody?
A guide will tell village history, and social and fashion trends of the era. The museum has added free on street parking, right outside the front door.
Marshall Field's Park Forest Store bricks are for sale at the museum. Bricks are 1 for $15; 2 for $25. We also sell prints (11 x 17) of a vibrant watercolor showing mothers and children lined up outside the Holiday Theatre in the Park Forest Shopping Center in 1966. Prints are $15 each. Books on Park Forest history are also for sale in our store area.
Operated by the Park Forest Historical Society and sponsored by Central Park Apartments, the museum is open Wednesday and Saturday from 10:30 to 3:30 or for school tours and small groups by appointment. The Museum is closed in January, except by appointment.
Donation is $5 for adults; children 12 and under are free with a paying adult. The museum tour is free with purchase of a Marshall Field's brick.
Contact Jane Nicoll, Museum Director, at 708-481-4252, or Mike Gans, PFHS president, at 708-305-3308 for appointments or with an interest in volunteering. Learn about the Museum and the Society at www.parkforesthistory.org.