1950s Museum Tourism Picks Up

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum has had a surge of visits in the past week. 

A private tour from Ridge United Methodist Church in Munster brought in 12 visitors on June 19.  Saturday morning was a special private tour for two special visitors from California, with 19 going through during regular open hours.  Monday afternoon a family called who had mistakenly been given the library’s hours.  Happily, someone could run to the museum and show around the family of six from Manteno who were coming to reminisce with the grandmother from Florida.  On Sunday, someone from Minnesota went through.   

Ironically, during beautiful weather last Saturday, with two docents on duty, no visitors went through.  On June 13,  the former Anne Hughes visited with  friends from Homewood and with former Park Foresters visiting from Texas.  I apologize for not having Anne’s married name in front of me.  She now lives in Norway.  It was her third or fourth visit to the museum, and her Homewood friend’s third visit.  The docent, Delores Janota knew all of the former Park Foresters, and said they had a great time taking photos of each other in the various rooms of the museum.

 Tourists this week included a professor from the state of New York who teaches about the 1950s, the 1980s and Now.  Since we have had so many visitors from out of state, the society hopes to see more Park Foresters come through the doors of the museum to step back into the 1950s with us.  It also plays up our need for more docents, including folks who are willing to be trained and who can be available for spur of the moment, or special  tours at times other than our regular open hours on Saturday from 1-3 p.m.

Another thing accomplished this week was my taking a driving tour with Leona DeLue to search out the Parent’s Magazine houses on Blackhawk, , Monee and Oakwood streets.  Leona also pointed out the houses she thought were designed by Bud Fitch, nephew of Mrs. Klutznick and Mrs. Beber, whose husbands were two of the developers of Park Forest.  We also noted the addresses of other custom homes on those streets.  Another project  the society hopes to find volunteers for is a survey of the custom homes in Park Forest.  We understand there are houses by Mid-Centruy architect, E. Kelly Gaffney, and are interested in knowing if citizens live in one of his houses.

If you are interested in helping with the museum or the architectural survey, please contact Jane Nicoll at [email protected]