deerpathfarm_main_entranceDeerpath Farm represents the next wave of thinking about residential development: a mutually beneficial relationship between the land, architecture and people. We believe that the native beauty and health of the land can be restored and enhanced via responsible development.

A rare natural jewel

Deerpath Farm thrives at a highly unique intersection of natural beauty, history, and community. Lake County, part of the ecologically rich Great Lakes region, leads Illinois with an incredible diversity of native species and impressive swaths of protected lands. Even against this backdrop, the Village of Mettawa stands out as a rare island of green and open space. Deerpath Farm’s 140-acre Preserve is the largest privately-held conservation easement within Mettawa, is the single largest open lands parcel managed by Lake Forest Open Lands Association, and features some of the longest rural views to be found anywhere in Lake County. As development continues to swallow more rural properties, we expect Deerpath Farm’s value to only increase.

The luxury of nature

Due to careful planning and design, Deerpath Farm opens a window into the past and points the way to the future of residential development.

Drivers glancing north from Route 60 see a scene that’s virtually the same as it was one hundred years ago: nearly 1/2 mile of uninterrupted vistas. Along Farwell Road, residents enjoy private lots buffered from the bustle of modern life, fine homes set among tall trees, and luxuriously beautiful views. The 140-acre preserve — owned by residents and carefully stewarded — provides the enjoyments of a country estate lifestyle.

The development of Deerpath Farm’s 200 acres has enabled land to be restored to its original ecological health, while providing an exceptionally beautiful living environment for our fortunate residents.

An evolving ideal

While Deerpath Farm was acquired by Edward H. Bennett in the 1930’s, he was undoubtably attracted by the bucolic countryside setting: mature oak savannahs and wide open fields with grazing cows. As a Paris-trained city planner closely associated with the City Beautiful movement, and the co-author of the acclaimed 1909 Plan of Chicago, Bennett’s eye for beauty was keen, and he elected to leave the property’s natural features untouched.

1960s_Ted_12KThe farm passed to his son, Ted (Edward H. Bennett, Jr.), also an urban planner and architect. For ten years, Ted served as the Chairman of the Lake County Regional Planning Commission. He also served on the Chicago Planning Commission, and was a founding father of the Village of Mettawa. He and his wife Katharine Falley Bennett also treasured the natural beauty of the farm, and began working with Stephen Christy of the Lake Forest Open Lands Association to fight invasive species and restore the original native environment.

It was Ted’s dream to see Deerpath Farm responsibly transformed into a residential development that would preserve the land’s natural beauty. In the 1980’s he began working with Kay’s son, Rick (architect Frederick Phillips), to create the first plans for an innovative new neighborhood at Deerpath Farm which would include clusters of houses and wide-open spaces. A decade later, Rick designed many of the first house models for the widely acclaimed Prairie Crossing conservation community. He completed the newly streamlined plans for Deerpath Farm in 2004.

Today’s Deerpath Farm represents the evolution of a living idea. True to the family’s desires, the property has been responsibly transformed while retaining its appealing features. The restored natural reas, including mature woods, savannas, open prairies, fields and wetlands, will be maintained in perpetuity.

“Lake County … has the richest diversity of native species in the state of Illinois and supports more state-threatened and endangered species than any other county” – Conserve Lake County

Planning Objectives


  • Maintain the overall look and character of Deerpath Farm from Route 60 and from many vantage points within the property.
  • Conserve and maximize distant views and orientations from Route 60 and from many vantage points within the property.
  • Preserve and restore open spaces, wetlands, and the most sensitive of wooded areas.
  • Become an example to the region and to the country of how owners can responsibly, beautifully, and profitably transfer ownership, while preserving the majority of their land from future development.
  • Create, through landscaping and architectural guidelines, a superior standard of design excellence for sites and houses that will make Deerpath Farm unique in the community and the region.
  • Enjoy the process!