09 May, 2011

Villa Turicum - Then & Now Redux

Probably the most oft question I'm asked is what remains of Villa Turicum and if someone can visit it (or what remains) today. In a a previous post I tried to address that, but I thought it would be a nice refresher to post some pictures to illustrate what is and what once was:

Villa Turicum in it's first decade.

Villa Turicum today.

(Click to enlarge)

Update 9:38 p.m.: Please take a moment to read the comment submitted by Arthur H. Miller; Archivist and Librarian for Special Collections, Donnelley and Lee Library at Lake Forest College.

1 comment:

Arthur H. Miller said...

As I've written in an article (Shaping the American Landscape, ed. Charles Birnbaum, U. of Virginia Press, 2009) about landscape architect Marshall Johnson, son-in-law, associate, and successor to Jens Jensen, Johnson worked very hard to include in one lake front lot the bulk of the garden east and south of the Villa Turicum house. In 1988 a substantial new historically-styled house designed by the Kendler firm's architect Dwayne Dickey was placed in line with the new subdivision lines, but at an angle to the original Charles A. Platt rectilinear plan for the house and gardens.

The restoration of the gardens was undertaken by the new owners in the 1990s, with a new garden planned around the surviving reflecting pool and one at the top of the water cascade/stairway down to the lake (landsc. archit. Frank Haas). The owners had excavated in the partially covered old foundation of the house for sculptures and building elements; also some who formerly had appropriated sculpture from the site returned it to honor the restoration. Finally, the level of Lake Michigan from 1900 to 1930 was historically low, and since then has risen--taking away former gardens and the swimming pool, some elements of which still can be seen at or near the shore. The entry to elevator corridor/grotto has been closed in, for security and safety reasons. See also Classic Country Estates of Lake Forest ..., Kim Coventry et al. (W.W. Norton, 2003).

Arthur H. Miller amiller@lakeforest.edu