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That’s Some Farmhouse
Perched on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, this 9,000-square-foot mansion started out, in the 1890s, as a farmhouse. Greatly expanded in the 1920s by Bruce MacLeish—at one time the president and chairman of Carson Pirie Scott—it received a meticulous 21st-century renovation at the hands of Ken and Katherine Weber, who bought the place in 2003 for $3.825 million. While preserving its exquisite craftsmanship, the couple made some smart upgrades, such as using an old dumbwaiter shaft to house the thicket of cables needed in today’s high-tech homes. They also installed a small cable car that travels down to the beach and a new multilevel deck.
The Webers listed the house in 2009 at $8.999 million. After several price cuts, they sold it in March for $4.585 million—or 51 percent of what they had originally sought. “They got an offer and decided to work with it,” says their agent, Monica Childs of @Properties. The Webers declined to comment on the sale, but by my estimate, the $760,000 profit on the deal would fall well short of covering their rehab costs. (For a 2010 video tour of the home, visit chicagomag.com/weberhouse.)
Photograph: Dennis Rodkin