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Bennett, Edward H., Jr. (1915-1994) | Lake Forest College Archives and Special Collections

Name: Bennett, Edward H., Jr. (1915-1994)
Variant Name: Bennett, Ted
Fuller Form: Bennett, Edward Herbert, Jr.


Historical Note:

The son of planner Edward H. Bennett, 1874-1954, and the planner's first spouse, Catherine Jones Bennett, Edward H. (Ted) Bennett, Jr. (1915-1994) was the successor tenant to his father in the 1909 Plan of Chicago studio, 18th floor of the Railway Exchange Building. Ted's son, Ted also (Edward H. Bennett III, Lake Forest '71), remembers visits there with his father.

The younger Edward H. Bennett (Edward Herbert Bennett, Jr., Ted Bennett) was a graduate of Harvard (1938) and of its School of Design in architecture, 1950.  He joined the AIA in 1950, and was a partner in Elting & Bennett, 1954-56. In the late 1940s and early 1950s he served internships and in junior positions with Herman Lackner, Skidmore Owings & Merrill, and with Schweikher & Elting.  In 1956 he began practice on his own, continuing in his father's office space on the 18th floor of the Railway Exchange Building.  From 1957 to 1970 he served on the Lake County, IL, Regional Planning Commission, from 1960 to 1970 as chair.  In 1976 he was the founding president of the Lake Forest Foundation for Historic Preservation.

Bennett's projects included first his M.A. thesis at the Harvard School of Deisgn, a plan and model for a Miesian central rail station for Chicago (west of the Chicago River), ca. 1949 (the model ownd by E. H. Bennett, III, Lake Forest). Another major project is his 1960s conversion for his own home of his grandfather David B. Jones' 12,000 sq. ft. stable adjacent to Jones' "Pembroke Lodge," 500 N. Green Bay Rd., Lake Forest; the original architect had been Henry Ives Cobb, in 1895.  His parents' home was north west of this at the southwest corner of Green Bay Road and Deerpath.  Bennett, Jr. was photographed sitting on his Miesian (like the Arts Club of t he period) interior stairway in his Green Bay Road adaptive reuse of the fmaily stable by Mary Lloyd Estrin, and it appears in her 1979 book, To the Manor Born.  In the late 1950s he designed the Lake Forest home of George E. and Rosemary Dade Hale, on Butler Dr. (demolished).  In the early 1980s he and his stepson, Rick Philips (Lake Forest '66), renovated extensively and saved "Handy Green" on Illinois Road across Green Bay Road from Bennett's home; in the new state it was sold.  This had been the seasonal cottage after 1900 of Charles Atkinson, brother-in-law of Frances Wells (Mrs. Howard Van Doren) Shaw and a golfing member of Onwentsia, which is walking distance to the south.  The house had surviving architect Shaw design elements.

The Bennett farm west of Lake Forest, now in Mettawa on Route 60 and west of the tollway, placed Bennett in the main line of sprawl development by mid century.  He was part of a group that organized a Libertyville Countryside Association, 1955, and then the town of Mettawa, 1965, with zonning regulations to prevent overdevelopment (underlying 5 acre lot size, etc.).  After his death his stepson, Rick Philips, has developed this as a combined conservation area and neighborhood of individually designed homes on the north side of Route 60, across the main east-west six-lane roadway from the W. W. Grainger headquarters--both the housing development and the office building hidden behind tall berms.  Bennett's ongoing interest in planned development of rural Lake County starting in the mid century appears to have played a key role in preserving this west of Lake Forst area as mostly open space, and giving shape and definition to the towns around it: Lake Forest, Libertyville, Green Oaks, Lincolnshire, Vernon Hills, etc.

Sources:

Bennett, Edward H., Jr., personal acquaintence with the author, 1970s-1990s. 

Bennett, Edward H., III, conversations with, 2008, relating to his father, and visits to his then home on West Deerpath, Lake Forest.

Estrin, Mary Lloyd.  To the Manor Born.  1979.

Hale, Rosemary D., papers.  Butler Dr. house records.

Mettawa, Village of, papers, James R. Getz papers.

Note Author: Arthur H. Miller, Archivist, Lake Forest Coll. library, amiller@lakeforest.edu





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