Park Forest is a Dream Community

It literally was the dream of Phillip Klutznick and a handful of his colleagues when they put their heads together in the late 1940s to create a community that would be complete in what it offered to its residents. At the time, Mr. Klutznick had witnessed firsthand the tremendous difficulty that returning soldiers from World War II and their families were having in finding quality housing. His service with the administration of President Harry Truman — specifically in the housing area — led him to dream that something special could be done to accommodate these young families, and Park Forest became the fulfillment of his dream.

Phillip Klutznick, of course, later went on to bigger projects — including creation of a whole city in Israel and such outstanding real estate complexes as Oak Brook Mall in the northwest suburbs and Water Tower Place in Chicago — but Park Forest always remained one of his proudest accomplishments. He continued to boast of his personal joy over its creation, even as his personal career took him to such great heights as service as U.S. Secretary of Commerce and as an Ambassador to the United Nations.

The Park Forest of today is different from what it was in Phil Klutznick’s time, because the needs of today’s residents are different from the needs of the returning GIs of the late 1940s. Nonetheless, Park Forest remains true to the Klutznick dream: it is a community that strives to be as complete as possible in what it offers to its citizens.

The amenities enjoyed by Park Forest residents are unique when compared to those available to residents of towns of similar size

  • Freedom Hall with its annual series of outstanding Entertainment programs;
  • a live, Equity theatre in the heart of the downtown area;
  • parks, a swimming complex, indoor and outdoor tennis facilities, a municipal golf course;
  • a full-service municipal health department that includes home visits by registered nurses when citizen needs require such assistance;
  • citizen advisory boards and commissions that include more than 100 Village residents in the day-to-day affairs of their government; and many similar endeavors. We are proud that our Village remains committed to the original concept of community that was engendered by Park Forest’s founders. We are determined to keep that kind of community spirit alive for many years to come.

I encourage you to view this booklet as a small tour of our Village. I am hopeful it will provide you with important information about our town, but I am even more hopeful that it will instill in you a sense of what the Spirit of Park Forest is all about. More than anything else, it is that spirit which is the hallmark of our Village’s identity. Capture it and you will know firsthand why Park Foresters are so proud of their Village.

Yours most sincerely,
John A. Ostenburg
Village President


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