In 1966, a truly unique design for a plot of farmland was created by Kyle G. Benkert, a cum laude Harvard trained architect. His initial vision of a community of single and multifamily residences built around a 13 acre lake included twin towers of 30 to 40 stories, a city hall for the 9 year old community of Willowbrook, and a 30,000 square foot commercial center. By early 1967, Benkert’s dream became a detailed scale model used with his successful request for zoning and annexation by Willowbrook.
Benkert needed a source of funds and he found Alfred Hoffman, a Hinsdale resident. Hoffman saw the plan as a way of putting his construction firm, Tekton Corporation, on the map. Soon he had a commitment from U.S. Gypsum for $3.5 million. He and Kyle were in business and the Kingery Project, later called Lake Hinsdale Village, was on its way.
On March 24, 1969, the zoning and annexation request was approved by Willowbrook, clearing the way for purchasing the property from the Marian Fathers. Building began in October of that year. The lake had to be dredged and the clubhouse, swimming pool and other amenities had to be built as well as bridges, streets, and sidewalks.
By January 1971, the first of 200 planned townhouses were finished and residents began moving in. By mid-summer a number of the town-houses along the southeast shore of the lake were occupied. Condo A was completed and sold out and Condo B was soon to be.
The 1970’s were exciting and busy years for residents as the population grew at an accelerating rate. In one month alone, there were ten cocktail parties, four Sunday brunches, and a gala Oktoberfest. Residents volunteered as clubhouse attendants, gardeners, and even street repairmen. The LHV Athletic Club was organized and annual Superstar events attracted wide participation. As Tekton relinquished control of the subdivisions, residents became more and more involved in governing and controlling their enterprise. Lake erosion became a major problem and was solved with rip-rap and gabions. Master Board members also learned about trapping rabbits in order to save trees during the harsh winter of 1979.
In early 1981, the Clubhouse was showing major signs of wear and tear from 10 years of heavy use. A phased in plan for redecorating was completed over three years. The ladies of the Village assembled and published the first LHV cookbook. Also, the Village Thespians created and produced two variety shows which played to full house crowds.
In the mid 80’s there was some concern about the approval of a shopping center north of the village but concerns vanished as the project proceeded. In 1988 residents learned that the popular swimming pool, at age 18 needed complete refurbishing. This project was completed without lost swimming time.
Suddenly LHV was twenty years old. It was time to look back with gratitude to the many presidents, board members, and committee members who worked long and hard to make LHV, as its motto states, “All that Life Should Be….and More.”
October 20, 1990