Cleland Place isn’t just an apartment building, it’s a home. It feels that way thanks in part to the Cleland family’s support in honor of their parents, Jean Cleland (for whom Cleland Place is named) and Robert Cleland.

Everywhere you look, there are touches of family history – a plaque honoring Jean Cleland, calming blue hues throughout the building reflecting her favorite color, and images of Wilmette’s history and notable sites.

In 2021 Stuart Cleland, son of Jean Cleland, for whom Cleland Place is named, donated a deutzia bush to the property’s landscaping. Recently, he stopped by to admire the plant which is now in full bloom. As an offshoot of the original plant that was grown and nurtured by Stuart’s father, Robert “Bob” Cleland, in their Wilmette home, the blooming bush holds a special place in Stuart’s heart.

This isn’t the only personal touch from the Cleland family that graces Cleland Place. Residents are greeted by a beautiful handmade quilt on the wall in the first-floor lobby, a creation made by and passed down from Jean Cleland’s mother and donated by Trena Cleland, Jean’s daughter.

The property on which Cleland Place stands served as the post of the Huerter-Wilmette American Legion Post 46. Stuart and Trena’s brother, Carter Cleland, preserved and framed a window from the original building with the American Legion logo. It now hangs in the community room at Cleland Place, serving as an honorarium to the history of the property.

These thoughtful gestures are a wonderful reminder of the spirit behind Cleland Place. It’s a place that fosters a sense of community and belonging, a place where residents can feel comfortable and at home. The blooming deutzia, quilt, and preserved American Legion logo are symbols of the Cleland family’s care and generosity, perfect embodiments of that spirit – welcoming all who call it home.

Light pink and white blooms on a green bush.
The deutzia plant in full bloom.
A woman holds a tall green bush while a man in a blue shirt shovels the dirt. Another man watches. A light brick apartment building is in the background.
Putting in the deutzia plant, Karen Koerth holds the plant while Stuart Cleland digs and building architect, John Clark looks on.
A man wearing a mask and a blue checkered shirt stands next to a wall hanging of a large American Legion logo.
Carter Cleland poses with the American legion Post 46 logo.