LFLB History Museum

Griffith Grant & Lackie Realtors: Growing and Building with Lake Forest

John Griffith Real Estate office on Deerpath, the firm’s location before moving to Market Square in 1916.

John Griffith opened his real estate business in 1903. He was an active player in the development of estates in the area and Market Square. His firm moved to Market Square when it was built and became the square’s longest tenant, at nearly 99 years.

John Griffith Inc. ad from the 1945 Lake Forester.

John Griffith’s nephew Melville Lackie joined the firm in 1922; under their leadership, the firm orchestrated the growth of the community in the 1920s and 1930s, both new estates and neighborhoods. They also managed Market Square for the Lake Forest Improvement Trustees from 1917 to 1968, collecting rent, coordinating with tenants, and overseeing repairs.

John Griffith Realtors For Sale sign in front of unidentified home. Four realtors are standing beside the sign: Mary Griffis, Marjorie Carter, Gordon Lackie, and Susie Hoch. Home may be located at the northeast corner of South Green Bay Road and East Old Elm.
John Griffith Realtors/Better Homes and Gardens (678 Western Avenue) and Century 21/T.J. Grant Realtors (680 Western Avenue), pictured in 1984. The two firms went on to merge the next year. (Photo by Tony Armour.)

John Griffith Real Estate, briefly called John Griffith and Sons in the 1920s, incorporated in 1928 and was known as John Griffith Inc. until 1985, when it merged with Century 21 T. J. Grant and became Griffith, Grant & Lackie Realtors.

Griffith, Grant and Lackie storefront on Western Avenue, c. 2003. Note the tiles at the entrance.

In 2014, when their lease was not renewed, Griffith, Grant & Lackie moved into a larger office on Deerpath. They remain Lake Forest’s oldest real estate firm.