Rich Landscapes Enhance Community at Kelmscott Park

By | Blog Post, Design

Rich Landscapes Enhance Community at Kelmscott Park

Lake Forest is synonymous with distinguished homes and impeccable landscaping. Since its visionary beginnings, the community has been a showcase of historic estates by legendary architects Howard Van Doren Shaw and David Adler, and picturesque landscapes by the likes of Frederick Law Olmsted and Jens Jensen. And while it’s been several decades since these renowned names first made their mark on Lake Forest, their significance is alive and well today. In fact, the community’s rich history was a point of inspiration right here at Kelmscott Park.

When Kelmscott Park was conceived, Focus made it a priority to craft a plan that would be worthy of Lake Forest’s landscaping legacy. So they brought in Mariani Landscape – the North Shore’s preeminent landscape designer. With 60 years of local experience and a unique ability to create unforced natural serene spaces, Mariani was the obvious choice to see Focus’ vision through.

North Shore Expertise Meets Old World Inspiration

Working in tandem with renowned architect Larry Booth, principal of Chicago-based Booth Hansen Architects, Mariani designed an intricate landscaping plan that was inspired by the English gardens of the Cotswolds.

“Larry had a strong vision of arts and crafts architecture, and that set the tone for the landscape architecture at Kelmscott Park,” says Carrie Woleben-Meade, design principal at Mariani Landcape.

The result is a Cotswold garden with a midwestern twist. A variety of plants add texture to the landscape, while native grasses and oak trees help with maintenance. More than 100 shade trees and dozens of flowering trees have been added to complement the open spaces and create a haven just steps from the hustle and bustle of Market Square.

“It’s unusual for a developer to invest this much in landscaping. With this project, we knew we wanted to design something that would appeal to homebuyers and also bring new energy to downtown Lake Forest,” says Woleben-Meade.

Using Landscapes to Enhance Community

Unlike traditional residential communities found in the suburbs, which are often gated, Kelmscott Park features several walking paths that connect the project with the greater community. The design highlights Kelmscott Park’s emphasis on walkability and encourages visitors to stroll through the scenic gardens when they are out and about in downtown Lake Forest.

“Kelmscott Park aims to enhance community beyond the residences by emphasizing walkability throughout the landscape. Connections between the residential buildings and public spaces outside of Kelmscott Park encourage exploration both within the development and downtown Lake Forest,” said CEO and Founder of Focus, Tim Anderson.