The best thing in my life was the privilege of attending this school.
Mr. Armour of the Meat Packing company built a complex on 600 acres that contained the main mansion, the Orangery, the Stables, and a dozen other support structures for his daughter’s wedding gift. She never occupied it. It lay dormant for a while before becoming a golf course. The crash of 1929 made it dormant again until the fire burned down Lake Forest Academy located near the Lake Forest College Campus. In 1944 this property became a boy’s school.
These are the front a rear aspects of Reid Hall where most of our education took place. We took marble hallways and fountains in the dinning rooms for granted. Our studies were just as richly endowed. We were prepared for College when we graduated. It was rigorous living. Strict rules of behavior accompanied by serious study were the code.
Durand House was the Orangery and my home for all four years between 1958-1962. Now the campus has changed radically. The 600 acres is whittled down to a much smaller number. Private homes surround Academy new buildings. What was once a $2500/year investment is now $50,000 for 400 students. We were a field of 212 back then…