Demolition slated for an early Skidmore Owings & Merrill

July 12, 2011

A dilapidated one-time country estate that is among the first works by the architecture firm that later became Skidmore Owings & Merrill will be demolished by Lake County Forest Preserve, officials there said.

The Glen A. Lloyd House, built in 1936 in what is now Wright Woods Forest Preserve in suburban Mettawa, was designed by architect Nathaniel Owings and was completed the year the firm--then only Skidmore & Owings--was founded.  The forest preserve district acquired the vacant home and its surrounding acres in 2005; the home has suffered years of water damage and lack of maintenance since then.

The move to demolish the house comes after the district unsuccessfully tried to find a person or entity to repair and restore the home in exchange for a low-cost, long-term lease--an effort this blog reported in May. Repair estimates on the 6,000 sq ft dwelling ran past $1 million. No one stepped forward.

“In the end, we did not get any responses at all,” Lake County Forest Preserve Executive Director Tom Hahn told the Daily Herald earlier this week. “I know it’s hard for a number of the commissioners, but there really was no one out there."

The district's finance committee voted last week to demolish the house, but will first have the building documented. Salvaged pieces from the home could be donated to the Lake County Discovery Museum.