Forest Beach

Forest Beach Office



Location: 

New Buffalo, Michigan


Owner/Developers: Joseph Clancy

R. Steven Lutterbach


Architect: 

IN Architects & Planners


Head Draftsperson and Contributing Designer:

Stephen M. Long

 
 

Constructed in the early 1990’s, the Forest Beach development preserved the existing character of the site, adding single family homes and multi-family condominiums of rustic design, which had a shared access path across sand dunes to the shores of Lake Michigan.  Also included were a number of custom-designed luxury homes on natural lots bordering the beach.

Historically the South Shore of Lake Michigan was a summer vacation destination for many residents of Chicago’s South Side, including the Daley family.  With the advent of air conditioning and Interstate Freeways providing greater options in the 50’s and 60’s though, there were fewer visitors and the area declined.  In 1979, the New Buffalo Harbor was dredged after the Army Corps of Engineers cleared the channel to it, and the city began to rejuvenate.  About 65 miles from Chicago, a YWCA camp was purchased in 1989 and subsequently developed into an upscale residential community:

Condominiums

Homes

A number of Chicago-area architects contributed designs at Forest Beach, though a substantial amount of work was completed by IN Architects and Planners, where I worked as a draftsperson and designer.  Pictured above are a prototype home and a condominium building, of which there were variations around the development.  I worked on some of the condominiums.  A showroom office building (pictured below and at top) was sited near the entrance, and I completed most of the computer drafting for the project, and was a collaborator on its design.  Near a railroad line, the building including its generous porch, was inspired in part by historic train depot architecture.

Office Building

Forest Beach Office photograph and plans/drawings copyright Stephen M. Long