In 1916, railroad baron Darius Miller commissioned renowned architect Howard Van
Doren Shaw to build his twenty-five room home on nineteen acres in Lake Forest.
Landscape architect Jens Jensen was retained to design the impressive grounds, and
the result was Thorndale Manor, an extraordinary home that calls to mind a different
The stately formal rooms of the Manor house overlook the beautiful gardens and speak
to an era of grand entertaining. The scenic grounds are not to be missed.
The home still retains all of its original architectural details. Mr. Shaw’s trademark
baskets of flowers and fruit highlight the iron and stone work that surround the
house. The manor house features 25 rooms, 6 bedrooms and 5.5 baths.
The charming coach house, also included on the tour, features 5,500 square feet of
living space, living room, formal dining room, 5 bedrooms, and a beautiful courtyard
overlooking expansive gardens and grounds.
Thorndale Manor has been chosen as the 2011 Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens and the
site of the INFANT WELFARE SOCIETY OF CHICAGO’S Centennial “Celebrate the Children”
evening event. The Manor and Coach House will feature more than 43 interior and landscape
Every other year since 1985, the Lake Forest Auxiliary Chapter of the Infant Welfare
Society of Chicago, founded in 1926, has hosted a national recognized designer Showhouse
& Gardens in Lake Forest, Illinois. We are proud of the stellar quality of interior
and landscape designers who represent our homes. As a result, throughout the three-week
period the house is open to the public, we attract as many as 10,000 guests. More
than $2.5 has been raised from this prestigious event to provide monies to support
the services of the Infant Welfare Society Clinic.