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Illinois Digital Archives

About this collection

Collection provided by: Park Forest Historical Society

 

Park Forest began in 1946 as a dream held by Carroll F. Sweet, Sr., to build a "G.I. Town" for returning veterans. Due to the lack of building during the Depression and World War II, the returning veterans and their young families faced a severe housing shortage. Carroll F. Sweet, Sr., introduced Nathan Manilow, a Chicago builder to Philip M. Klutznick, who was working in Washington D.C. as head of the Federal Public Housing Authority. Both men thought the dream was worth bringing to reality. The result was the first post-World War II planned community to include a shopping center and all of the amenities of modern life built in to the original plan. The plan was turned in to FHA in November 1946. Move-ins began in August 1948. On February 1, 1949, at the suggestion of the builders, Park Forest was incorporated as a village. By October 1949, 3,010 rental units had been completed. Construction of "For Sale" homes was begun by 1950.

 
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