Oak Forest Demolition

Welcome to the information page about the demolition of buildings on the Oak Forest Campus at 159th and Cicero Avenue. 

To sign up for the project newsletter and learn how to participate in upcoming community meetings for future plans on the site, please click here the link below, locate the Bureau of Asset Management tab, and select Oak Forest Hospital Building Demolition Notification.

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Monthly e-bulletins will be distributed to this listserv once demolition begins. 

Overview of the project:

Cook County will soon begin demolition of more than 50 buildings on the 153-acre Oak Forest Campus at the southeast intersection of 159th St. and Cicero Ave in Oak Forest. Services these buildings provided in the past have been relocated to other County facilities, and the majority of the remaining buildings are vacant. The plan for demolition includes the abatement, remediation and removal of all but a few of the structures on the site, as well as the central utility plant and underground tunnels.  The project will be broken into multiple phases of construction and is scheduled for completion in mid-2026.

Demolition hours of operation

Monday -Friday from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Meshed fencing will be installed around the perimeter of the site for the duration of the project.

Demolition method

Buildings will be demolished using hydraulic excavators.  This proven safe and controlled demolition method takes buildings apart piece by piece without using explosives.

Dust control and air quality

To mitigate dust and maintain air quality, water will be utilized during demolition. Skilled technicians using proven equipment will ensure water distribution is high and wide enough to eliminate any dust.

Truck traffic

Traffic routing will be set up to minimize any disruption to the surrounding areas. With the two egress paths on campus, vehicles will be allowed to enter the west entrance only from the south, “turning right” into the site. Vehicles leaving the site through the west entrance will only be allowed to head north or “turn right”.  Vehicles entering the site from the north entrance will only be allowed while traveling east “turning right” into the site. Vehicles exiting the site through the north entrance will only be allowed to “turn right” and head east. These traffic patterns will keep local traffic from being backed up.

Forest Preserve access

Please note the Oak Forest Campus entrance is closed to the public. Visitors to the Oak Forest Heritage Preserve will have alternative access via the Don Gorman Fieldhouse, which has ample parking and access to the Preserve from the southwest corner, close to the lagoon. For more information about the Oak Forest Heritage Preserve, please visit the Forest Preserve website at https://fpdcc.com/places/locations/oak-forest-heritage-preserve/.

Historic preservation

The Cook County Bureau of Asset Management has identified structures within the Oak Forest campus to be safely removed and relocated for future education of the historic importance of the Oak Forest Campus. Additionally, the Cook County Archives and Records Office has completed extensive work to preserve artifacts, documents, and other materials on the site. Any questions about historic preservation efforts can be directed to Audrey.Jonas@cookcountyil.gov

Future plans for the site

The Cook County Bureau of Asset Management will engage with the public in the future for input about how the property may be developed.

See below for a copy of recent community communications: