The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been awarded a $215,000 grant from the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and part of the “Illinois Jobs Now!” program for restoration at Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook. 

Mayslake Peabody Estate encompasses several structures, including the 39-room Mayslake Hall completed in 1921 by architect Benjamin H. Marshall for coal baron Francis Stuyvesant Peabody. 

The grant will fund renovation of Mayslake Hall’s rear courtyard, including the restoration or replacement of stucco, windows, terra cotta chimney pots, copper gutters, carved wooden barge boards and a limestone portico. 

“Poor initial material choices and inappropriate maintenance over the following decades led to significant deterioration on the building’s exterior at the courtyard, and this project will not only correct those issues but also prevent any damage from reaching the interior of the building and areas that have already been restored,” says Janneke Fowers, the site’s manager. 

The work is expected to begin in summer of 2015 for a total cost of $525,500. The remainder of the funding will be provided by the Forest Preserve District and from private donations to the Mayslake Hall Restoration Society and the Friends of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. 

Mayslake Hall is on the National Register of Historic Places and is owned and managed by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. Mayslake Peabody Estate is a community resource that hosts “Restoration-in-Progress” tours, lecture series, musical performances, educational programs and theatrical performances by First Folio Theatre. For more information, visit  

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County owns and manages 25,000 acres of prairies, woodlands and wetlands. Each year its 60 forest preserves, 145 miles of trails, five education centers and scores of programs welcome over 4 million visitors. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit, where you can also link to the District’s e-newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube pages.


Left: This courtyard at Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook will be restored after decades of deterioration due to poor material choices and incorrect maintenance. 

Photo credit: courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.