Brookfield Zoo, Hamill Family Nature and Science Plaza


Hamill Family Nature and Science Plaza

Forest Preserve District of Cook County / Brookfield, Illinois


1.5-acre Specialty Land Development and restaurant Renovation

Project Scope

New Construction of a Three-season pavilion, winding pathways, sensory gardens, gathering spaces for education and special events. 


Brookfield Zoo
3300 Gold Road
Brookfield, Illinois 60513


John Grube
(630) 850-4331


The Featherstone Difference

The Zoo had received a generous donation for the development of The Hamill Family Nature and Science Plaza and Featherstone evaluated the concept against dollars allocated. The substantial differential discovered, nearly doubled the projected budget for the promised facility. Looking to establish a development program based on parameters stated in the pledge letter, a proviso requiring programmatic elements be self-sustainable was identified by Featherstone. With this strategy in mind, industry expert consultant, Profitable Foods was enlisted to reboot the onsite concessionaire operations to provide additional revenue generation for the Zoo.  

With a truly, credible cost estimate and a plan for programmatic sustainability, Featherstone assisted the Zoo with raising the additional funds needed to development the design and complete the construction. By establishing a performance history with the donor and providing accuracy and transparency cost information, Featherstone helped the Zoo establish a happy and trust-based relationship with their benefactors. Additional, significant funds were secured from the donor because they were secure in knowing that there would be no further financial supported needed to complete the project. This solution proffered by Featherstone won over the donor, all over again. 

Category: Specialty Land Development

Budget: $7,000,000

Featherstone’s team worked with quality, safety, timing and budget in mind. Their efforts transformed the former site into a vibrant location for learning, science exploration, dining and events.

– Rich Gamble
Chief Operating Officer
Executive Vice President

Featherstone Facts

Average Bid to Build Variance -3.11%,
Average Value for Fee at 145%
Last 5 years – 5 Fabulous Parks
Last 5 years – 5 Fantastic Libraries
Multiple, Decades-Longstanding, Client Relationships – The Morton Arboretum, Chicago Botanic Garden, Brookfield Zoo, the Wauconda Public Library, The Schaumburg Township District Library