Cantigny Park, Project New Leaf – Phase 1


Project New Leaf – Phase 1

Wheaton, Illinois

Project Scope

Five-year, multi-phase revitalization effort aimed at the redevelopment of the gardens and associated infrastructure improvements, including a remodeled Visitors’ Center and significant ecological native and wetland renovations. 

Phase 1 improvements have been completed and include:

• Major infrastructure improvements including over 38,000 cy of earthwork, site utilities, sub-surface drainage, storm water management redevelopment, renovation and modifications to roads and pathways, and ecological native and wetland renovations
• Remodeled Visitors Center, including an expanded information kiosk, Bertie’s Bistro and a covered entrance for Le Jardin
• Redesign and redevelopment of the display gardens and Gold Pond area
• Red Oaks Farm playground and adjacent picnic pavilion
• 350 new parking spaces in the south lot
• Lighted walkways connecting main attractions and easy-to-navigate path surfaces
• Oak Colonnade stretching north-south from the Visitors Center to the First Division Museum
• Expanded gathering plaza around the Lion of Cantigny statue, with seating
• New restroom and visitor information building just south of the Visitors Center


Cantigny Park
1 S 151 Winfield Road
Wheaton, Illinois 60189


Matt LaFond
Executive Director
Cantigny Park

Lou Marsico
Senior Vice President of Operations
Robert R. McCormick Foundation


2020 ENR Midwest
Best Project
Landscape/Urban Design

The Featherstone Difference

Featherstone managed numerous discreet projects Cantigny undertook to provide a superior visitor experience for their over 400,000 annual guests. This transformation included fabulous display gardens; the Green Garden, the Octagon Garden, North and South Scallop Garden, the South Grove, Rock Garden, the Alee, and Prairie View Garden. We also renovated The Fountain Plaza, Visitor Center, Pump House, World Trade Center Exhibit, and the grounds of the First Division Museum and Memorials. Major renovations and new construction of sub-surface water and site utilities and civil infrastructure and vertical improvements included, storm water management, roads and lighted pathways, kiosks, ponds, a playground and picnic pavilion, parking area, gathering plaza, patios, lawns, and restrooms. 

Initially hired to validate the conceptual budget as provided by the internationally renowned firm of Sasaki, Featherstone’s experience signaled that estimate was not comprehensive to build out the master plan. The client questioned Featherstone’s cost opinion, as it doubled the projected budget, and requested a line-item comparison from the two firms. Having no financial skin in the game, hence no need to inflate numbers, Featherstone took a positive and collaborative approach to this exercise. The designer and owner were won over by Featherstone’s spot-on experience building great gardens and accurate cost opinion. With realistic numbers established, both owner and designer insisted Featherstone become part of the design effort. They further became convinced that our construction delivery model was required to manage all the proposed specialty trades. Another great project where Featherstone was hired for the estimate and kept on the team for their expertise in construction management and specialty land development. 

Category: Specialty Land Development

Budget: $22,500,000

Importantly, Project New Leaf is on time and within budget. This speaks well for Featherstone’s level of planning and management expertise.

– Mr. Matt LaFond
Cantigny Park Executive Director

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