Collection hote.mor - Hotel Moraine-on-the-Lake Collection

Hotel Moraine-on-the--Lake sign

Identity area

Reference code

US IlHpHS hote.mor


Hotel Moraine-on-the-Lake Collection


  • Bulk, 1950-1972 (Creation)
  • 1900-1994 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

3 Cubic feet : 4 Boxes

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Name of creator


Administrative history

Hotel Moraine-on-the-Lake opened in Highland Park in 1900 to serve vacationing Chicagoans, many from the city's exclusive Gold Coast. Hotel Moraine was designed by Highland Park architect, Ernst Mayo, for F.W. Cushing and named for the nearby granite rock shelf. Originally open solely for the summer months, many guests spent their entire summer at the hotel. The Hotel operated at maximum capacity for its first 35 years, but was negatively effected by the stockmarket crash and subsequent Great Depression. In 1943 Jules Reingold, a wealthy real estate man from Glencoe, Illinois, bought the hotel and ran it successfully until his death in 1947 The Hotel changed hands several times between 1947 and 1963. In 1963, Richard S. Wright Enterprises purchased the hotel, capitalizing on the dining room and numerous meeting rooms to attract industry conferences. By 1968, the hotel was empty again. Illinois Bell rented and redesigned the hotel's garage to serve as a school for telephone operators. In 1969, Bert Schwarz purchased the land with intentions of tearind down the hotel and building a lakeshore high-rise. Moraine Citizens Committee, a group of Highland Park residents and politicians, mobilized to block the high rise development though a city wide referendum that would granted the City of Highland Park the funds to purchase the Moraine Hotel property for a future park and nature preserve. The original Hotel Moraine-on-the-Lake was demolished in 1972. In 1999, The Highland Park City Council proposed deeded the property to the Park District of Highland Park in hopes the park built where the Hotel Moraine-on-the-Lake will be better maintained.

In 1969, construction for a modern hotel began on a 4.5 acre parcel of land in Highwood, Illinois. The hotel opened in 1970 as a Ramada Inn franchise. Between 1972 and 1985, the Ramada Inn changed hands several times and becomes the Highwood Inn. In 1985, local restaurateur William Pigati purchased the Highwood Inn and renamed it the Hotel Moraine.

Archival history

This collection was created by the Highland Park Historical Society from items recovered after the demolition of the Hotel-Moraine-on-the-Lake, ephemeral items and accessions, and the Moraine Citizens Committee.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Please see the accessions log.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The Hotel Moraine-on-the-Lake Collection contains correspondence, records, promotional material, photographs and items relating to the operation of the Hotel Moraine-on-the-Lake. The collection contains materials from all periods of operation, but focuses mainly on the years between 1960 and 1968 when it operated as a site for industry conventions. The collection also documents the development proposed by Bert Schwartz and the community activism of the Moraine Citizens Committee. The Highland Park Historical Society was active in the last years of the hotel's existence celebrating its history and accruing items that would become this collection. Also documented in this collection is the Hotel Moraine (Highwood, Illinois). The Hotel Moraine (Highwood) is represented by news clippings, photographs, and original architectural plans

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

The Hotel Moraine-on-the-Lake Collection is housed in four boxes, plus one (1) architecture roll.. Large and oversized items are located in Box 2. An artificial arrangement based on topical subjects as well as format was created by Project Intern, Jami Thompson, and February 2011. Part of this collection is housed in the Highland Park Museum's attic and is comprised of dishware from the Hotel Moraine-on-the-Lake.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access


Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion




Archivist's note

Processed by Jami Thompson, 2010.

Accession area