The Grayslake Heritage Center & Museum represents years of planning and cooperation. Working together, the Village of Grayslake and the Grayslake Historical Society opened the new facility on August 15, 2010. This state of the art history museum features multiple exhibition galleries, a classroom, a community room, archives and collections storage. It incorporates the original Village Hall, a former one-room school house moved to the site and expanded in 1895.
The Village of Grayslake and the Grayslake Historical Society worked together to secure financial support for the facility. The Grayslake Historical Society raised funds for the design work of a permanent exhibition and capital for collections and archival storage. The Village committed financial support for a public building through an agreement which generated funds from a cogeneration plant at the local landfill. The Village also secured a generous $250,000 donation from the Esper Petersen Foundation and committed additional dollars to see the project through to fruition. Of the roughly $2.16 million required to complete the project, more than $1.75 million came from the private sector.
A centerpiece of the new Grayslake Heritage Center & Museum is an exhibition titled Embracing Change: The Growth of Grayslake, created in partnership between the Grayslake Historical Society, the Village of Grayslake and Taylor Studios, Inc. This engaging, family-friendly exhibition provides a detailed look at how our community has grown and changed over time through rare images and artifacts, stunning graphics and innovative interactives highlighting distinctive Grayslake scents of yesterday. Embracing Change has garnered significant recognition at the state and national levels. The exhibition received Superior Achievement Awards from the Illinois State Historical Society and the Illinois Association of Museums and an Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History. These awards are given to organizations which embody the highest professional standards and serve as models to the museum community.