C.S. Dole Mansion

401 Country Club Road, Crystal Lake

The Lakeside Legacy Foundation turned this 2002 Chicagoland Watch List site into one of 2003 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award winners. “This unprecedented effort by the Lakeside Legacy Foundation not only saved a local landmark,” noted former Landmarks Illinois President David Bahlman, “but it has continued with their very public process to find appropriate long-term uses for the property.”

The C. S. Dole Mansion, an Italianate residence constructed in 1865 for Charles Sidney Dole, an influential grain baron and ice harvester, is among Crystal Lake’s most significant historic structures. In 1922, Eliza Ringling, of the famed circus family, converted the building into the Crystal Lake Country Club. In 2002, its owner, a local church, listed the building and its 12-acre lakefront site for sale. Local preservationists responded with a grassroots campaign that—in less than two months—raised most of the $1.6 million asking price, thereby heading off plans by a developer to convert the property to condominiums and townhouses.

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