Situated on high bluffs above Lake Michigan, north of Chicago, lies the residential community of Fort Sheridan. The town was founded in 1886 as part of a 632-acre military installation, on topography that was heavily wooded and marked by deep ravines and glacial moraine. Built between 1889 and 1910, O.C. Simonds created the plan for the base’s 110-acre center while the firm of Holabird & Roche designed the settlement’s original 64 masonry structures, which included single-family homes as well as barracks. Simonds’ design utilized the natural topography and extant native plantings. A picturesque composition, his site plan featured gently curving roads, a scenic drive laid out in the floor of a ravine, and an open meadow that originated from a wooded bluff and used a ravine as its border. Simonds also provided a 54-acre, oval parade ground in the center of the complex.
The Army base was officially closed in 1993, and the property was privatized, the buildings restored and sold. Only 90 acres of the original 632 remain under military ownership; the privatized property is known as the Town of Fort Sheridan. In 1980, the base’s historic district was listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1984.