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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Demolition of Barat College Begins Today

Barat College ~ Lake Forest, IL  c.1990's

The City of Lake Forest has announced that the demolition of Barat College also referred to as "Old Main" will commence today.  Crews are expected to work long shifts all week and on the weekends for the next several months until the entire building is torn down and the site is clear of debris. Since the college closed in 2005, systematically much of the interior and exterior as you will note below has been salvaged with the intention that materials are to be recycled, repurposed or reused.  In future posts, I will write about where various Sacred Heart items are now enjoying a new life. For more info about the demolition of the building, see related story in the LakeForest-LakeBluff Patch.  

"In October 1902, the Society of the Sacred Heart and the architectural firm of Egan & Prindeville of Chicago, one of the premier architectural firms in Chicago at that time, signed a contract to build the new convent and boarding school in Lake Forest." 

The once magnificent classical Georgian style building has been a visual landmark at the corner of Westleigh and Sheridan Road since the Convent of the Sacred Heart opened in 1904.  

"The cornerstone, laid in March, 1903 reads:
To the Greater Honor and Glory of God
Convent and Academy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
 Erected by Reverend Mother Charlotte Lewis, Superior Vicar
Corner-stone laid March 23, 1903 
by Right Reverend Peter J. Muldoon, D.D. Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago
Leo XIII Pope 
James Edward Quigley Archbishop of Chicago
Very Reverend Mother Mabel Digby Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
 President Theodore Roosevelt, of the United States 
Richard Yates Governor of Illinois,  
Carter Harrison Mayor of Chicago, 
Egan and Prindeville, Architects"

Barat College Cupola will be restored and placed in 
a garden on the front lawn of the campus

The Cupola was carefully removed last month.  Plans call for the Cupola to be restored and later used as a focal point in a meditation and reflective garden on the front lawn per the Master Plan Phase II.

Woodlands Academy Master Plan Phase II

Another well known icon that once stood on the front lawn of the Barat College campus for decades was the Sacred Heart of Jesus statue.

Sacred Heart Jesus Statue c.2011
Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart
 A plaque on the base of the statue (photo above) reads as follows:
"Created in plaster by French Statue maker Peaucelle Coquet, the rendition of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was first dedicated at the Convent of the Sacred Heart Lake Forest.  The Religious of the Sacred Heart expanded their Academy to include Barat College in 1918, and on those grounds the statue remained.  In 1961, the Academy moved to its present location across the ravine from Barat College and was named Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart. The Statue was removed from Barat College and restored following the closing of the college in 2005.  It was dedicated on this site n June 9, 2008 in Memory of Robert F. Key, a Woodlands Academy Trustee from 1997-2007."

Note:  Historical quotes are taken from  Barat College: A Legacy, A Spirit and A Name by Martha Curry, RSCJ  

Click this link to learn how you can order a copy of Sr. Curry's book.


  1. Do you have the name of the photographer for the first image (Barat College ~ Lake Forest, IL c.1990's)?

  2. I do not know the name of the photographer for the photo.