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River Forest Women's Club Restoration Update

Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:04 pm
by pharding
This afternoon I toured the River Forest Women's Club which is currently being restored. William Drummond, a former FLW employee was the architect for this 1913 Prairie School gem. The building is being skillfully restored as a 6,000 residence. A basement multipurpose hall with kitchen is being adapted and subdivided for use as the kitchen, family room, dining area, bedrooms, and office. The first floor auditorium and stage will be restored and it will continue to be a large open living room/multipurpose space. This space will be protected in perpetuity by the facade easement. The master bedroom will be located on the second floor balcony. A new below grade terrace has been created which allows the basement living space to flow outdoors through new terrace doors. Overall the project is being restored in a skillful manner and is an excellent example of adaptive reuse of a functionally obsolete historic structure. A local violin teacher and self-proclaimed preservation expert organized a 25 person protest at the site last year to protest its restoration and adaptive reuse as a residence. What a mistaken protest. The project is turning out quite well. The River Forest Women's Club is located at 526 Ashland Avenue, just down the street from FLW Davenport House at 559 Ashland.