Forest Preserve District landscape architect Mark Decker said the certified master plan project
will repair structural deficiencies and other problems with the roof, masonry, wood, stucco, windows, doors and foundation. It will also improve drainage and accessibility.
The District received a $750,000 museum capital grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to help pay for the work.
Although the 100-year-old mansion will temporarily close for repairs starting May 31, the surrounding forest preserve and off-leash dog area will remain open. First Folio Theatre will build its 2022-23 season on the grounds of the estate around the construction schedule.
The Forest Preserve District is already planning new exhibits and programs for Mayslake Hall’s reopening in 2023, including an exhibit of Joel Sheesley’s paintings of the West Branch DuPage River. The restoration work done on the West Branch will be highlighted with talks and a reception.
In 2020, the Forest Preserve District hired an architectural consultant to assess the building envelope to identify structural problems and material deficiencies that were contributing to water damage and other issues. That assessment was the basis of the upcoming exterior work.
The Forest Preserve District has already made improvements to the site.
In 2021 it replaced the asphalt in the west parking lot and addressed the lot’s insufficient base, which created surface integrity issues such as potholes.
In 2019 the District restored the walnut staircase in the main hall, stripping the stairs and treads and then restoring them to show the original wood graining.
The District has already completed several restoration projects at Mayslake, including the hall’s living room, areas of the main library, solarium and a few exterior features. Private donations and grants helped fund these projects. Donations can be made at dupageforest.org/donate-to-mayslake
In 1919 Francis Stuyvesant Peabody commissioned renowned Chicago architect Benjamin Marshal to design the Tudor Revival-style mansion that is known as Mayslake Hall. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the last remaining examples of the country estates that dotted DuPage County between 1880 and 1924.