Crews are busy at work creating a new pedestrian courtyard behind the north side of Market Square in downtown Lake Forest for a grand opening on August 1.
The courtyard will have a European feel, with brick and stone pavers, plantings and seating to encourage visitors to linger and relax. The new area will have an entrance next to Forest Bootery, as well as another entrance off Bank Lane near the post office.
Once the project is complete in late July, the courtyard will complement the existing south terrace near the new Starbucks.
The extensive renovation will transform an under-utilized space, which primarily operated as a service alley, into a beautiful community space where people can gather. “It’s a more intimate environment, where you can get away from the hustle and bustle,” Christiane Fischer, senior asset manager for Mid-America Asset Management, Market Square’s manager, told DailyNorthShore.
The space will also be used as another venue for community events. While Market Square already hosts many events, including holiday events around Halloween and Christmas, and a summer music series, the new courtyard will lend itself to even more.
“There are so many opportunities for events we can explore now because of this new space,” Fischer said.
In many ways, the innovative renovation is reminiscent of Market Square opening in 1916. As America’s first planned shopping center, Market Square has always been a little ahead of the curve and led others to emulate its design. “It’s about bringing it back to its original luster,” Fischer said.
The family friendly grand opening on August 1, which coincides with Lake Forest Day, will provide the community an opportunity to check out the new courtyard. It will also include live music, free gelato, a children’s craft table, and plenty more entertainment for people of all ages to enjoy.
For more information about Market Square go to www.shopmarketsquare.com.