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A Horseshoe-Shaped House with a Colts Connection

List Price: $1.495 million
Sale Price: $1.425 million
The Property: The bland façade of this U-shaped Winnetka house, with its front door set in a wall of glass, only hints at what lies inside: glass walls on three sides of a courtyard that give the…

List Price: $1.495 million
Sale Price: $1.425 million
The Property: The bland façade of this U-shaped Winnetka house, with its front door set in a wall of glass, only hints at what lies inside: glass walls on three sides of a courtyard that give the home a serene transparency. And as the selling agent, Peter Cummins of @Properties, points out, it’s fitting that a woman with ties to the Indianapolis Colts lived in a horseshoe-shaped home.

Until her death in 2008, this was the home of Harriet Irsay. Harriet’s son Jim Irsay owns the Indianapolis Colts, the NFL team that his late father, Robert Irsay, famously moved from Baltimore in 1984. Harriet, born in Bucktown and named Jadwiga Pogorzelski by her Polish immigrant parents, was Robert’s first wife; they divorced in 1988. She bought the ten-room Winnetka house in 1999, but Cook County Recorder of Deeds documents don’t reveal what she paid. 

Built in 1955 on Sheridan Road, the house has only one story and looks like a typical ranch house from the front. (I couldn’t find any information about its architect, Henry Townsend.) The residence is unusually big—5,800 square feet—and, thanks to the glass walls and the light-colored wood walls and ceilings, resort-like. The room sizes are on the resort scale, too: the living room is 39 feet by 22 feet, and the family room is 34 feet by 23 feet.

On April 7th, Matt and Lisa Garrison closed on their purchase of the house. Matt is the Chicago real-estate agent who last week attracted a lot of media attention by selling the house next door to the Kenwood home of President Barack Obama. A Coldwell Banker agent who works mostly in the city, Garrison says that this was the only house he and his wife looked at. Although they weren’t looking to move to the suburbs, they are fans of mid-century modern houses, and they were taken, he says, with the way this one bathes its occupants with “light and views of the pastoral setting.” The couple is also pleased to have so much space on one floor. “It feels like a condo,” said Garrison.

Price Points: The house first went on the market in January 2009 with an asking price of $2.4 million. “We started watching it then,” says Garrison, but they could not afford the price. When the latest cut—$300,000—came through, bringing the asking price down to $1,495,000, “we took a shot,” he says. The family will do a light renovation, replacing some old fixtures, but they want to keep the place largely intact. Even the kitchen, an early 1990s replacement after a small fire in that room, will stay for now. “A new kitchen is not in the financial cards for us,” Garrison says.

Listing Agent: Peter Cummins of @Properties; 847-881-0200 or petercummins@comcast.net. (My streetside pictures didn’t do this house justice, so my thanks to Cummins for providing his more revealing listing photos in the gallery below.)

Photo gallery

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