$1.2 million in repairs planned for historic Adlai E. Stevenson II home

Engineering, architectural services approved in advance of structural work at historic site in Mettawa

The historic Adlai E. Stevenson II Home, owned and operated by the Lake County Forest Preserve District, will be getting needed repair.

Forest commissioners recently approved a $136,050 contract with Hezner Corporation of Libertyville for architectural and engineering work in advance of an estimated $1.2 million project to restore the exterior and stabilize the deteriorating landmark on St. Mary’s Road in Mettawa.

The exterior work will replace siding, repair masonry chimney and structural concrete and replace flat portions of the roof at the home of the former Illinois governor, U.N. Ambassador and Democratic Party nominee for president in 1952 and 1956.

  John Nelson, chief operations officer of the Lake County Forest Preserve District, points out issues with the Adlai E. Stevenson II Home in Mettawa during a tour for forest commissioners. Mick Zawislak/, 2021

Hezner will provide a building survey/research, design the exterior restoration and stabilization work, prepare construction and bidding documents and other duties. That’s expected to be complete in the summer with construction to begin in late 2024 or early 2025, according to Daniel Stearns, director of facilities.

Hezner in 2019 also prepared drawings for the proposed exterior restoration of the Stevenson Home. But bids were well over estimates and discussion about whether to raze the home ensued.

The district secured a $1.1 million state grant and district leaders in 2022 committed to long-term ownership, repair and maintenance of the home and stable/service building.

Hezner's original work was resubmitted but the district was told it needed review by the state historic preservation agency and ultimately revised, according to district officials. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated National Historic Landmark.

Hezner previously completed projects for the Old School Forest Preserve maintenance shop remodel and conceptual drawing for the Ryerson Barn restoration, according to the district.

The forest preserve district was gifted the 40-acre property from St. Mary’s Road to the Des Plaines River south of Route 60 in 1974. Visit

A master plan for the home and property is on the district’s project list and is moving through the planning process, Stearns said.

Some scheduled public programming and requests for tours are available. Starting April 1, the service building will be open daily for self-guided tours through October.

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