Frank Lloyd Wright's Booth Cottage Update

Friday, January 10, 2020

The Booth Cottage was originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1913 as temporary housing for Sherman and Elizabeth Booth. Preservationists believe the cottage is worth saving because it anticipates the Usonian houses Wright designed from the 1930s to his death in 1959. The Usonian houses, aimed at middle-class buyers, influenced the low-slung ranch houses that proliferated in post-World War II suburbia. The signature elements of the Cottage’s design, elements that tie it to Wright’s later Usonian houses, include its flat roof, banded windows and strong horizontal lines.  

The Glencoe Park District working with the Glencoe Historical Society to help preserve Frank Lloyd Wright’s Booth Cottage through a potential land lease of Park 7N (located at Maple Hill Road and Meadow Road). The Glencoe Park District Board appreciates the desire to save the Booth Cottage and respects Glencoe Historical Society’s efforts to preserve Glencoe’s history. The land lease, while very unusual for the park district, is our effort to help preserve the Booth Cottage.  

The Glencoe Park District is proposing a 99-year land lease of a small portion of Park 7N to the Glencoe Historical Society for the price of $1 per year. 

The lease stipulates that no Glencoe Park District funds will be used for the relocation, construction, or maintenance of the Booth Cottage. The Glencoe Historical Society will use donations and grants to move and restore the historic structure, with assistance from the Village of Glencoe on building permits and the installation of an accessible sidewalk. The lease agreement mandates all exterior restoration must be completed within one year. 

Once restoration is complete, the Booth Cottage will be used by the Glencoe Historical Society as a research center, museum and small program space. The Booth Cottage hours of operation will be limited to Monday through Sunday, 9 AM to 5 PM, plus six evening meetings per year. Any additional hours will require approval by the Glencoe Park District. 

The Board of Commissioners is seeking community input on the proposed land lease of Park 7N. As elected officials, the Board of Commissioners take the role of stewarding all Park District land seriously. They understand the duty and responsibility to the community in their role in ensuring that Park 7N is used for purposes that it is intended and approved for. The public is invited to share their thoughts on the proposed Park 7N agreement at the Glencoe Park District Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, January 21 at 7 PM in the Community Hall of the Takiff Center (999 Green Bay Road, Glencoe, IL).

If you are unable to attend the public meeting, please feel free to send your thoughts to [email protected] and they will be shared with the Board of Commissioners.