This grand, 25,000-square-foot estate in a northern suburb of Chicago is on the market for $8.95 million. John G. Shedd, founder of the now-shuttered department store Marshall Field & Co., built it as a wedding gift for his daughter Laura in 1917.
Set on 5.3 acres in Lake Forest with 425 feet of private beach on Lake Michigan, the estate has luxuries that are an anomaly even in this affluent community, says listing agent Ann Lyon of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff RealtyGroup.
“The only homes that are comparable are on the East Coast, in Newport, RI,” she says. “The builder who renovated the home in the late ’80s said to try to replicate and build it today would run about $70 million.”
In the late 1980s, a previous owner updated the infrastructure, including mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. Handcarved limestone, plaster ceilings, copper detailing, and leaded-glass windows (with limestone surrounds) were all restored from the original structure, which had been empty for about 40 years by then.
“All three owners have been incredible stewards of the property,” says Lyon. “The craftsmanship is superior.”
Over the years, a slew of high-profile guests, including royals, have slept in the 12-bedroom, 11.5-bath home. It also includes an elevator, glass-enclosed sunroom the size of a ballroom, multiple fireplaces, ornate woodwork, arched doorways, and walls of multipaned windows in many of the rooms.
“All other suburbs along the water are much higher,” Lyon says. “That’s very attractive.”
So who would snap up this one-of-a-kind property?
“We have had families,” Lyon says, “and we have had people who want to have something related to their office or their work as a corporate retreat, for entertaining their guests. Or, it could be a single family. We have had people who just collect historic homes.”
Another perk is its location. Despite the lakeside setting, the estate is centrally located and just a short walk to town and the city’s beach.
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