Sale of the Week-A Beachfront House with Prairie Style - Wilmette

List Price: $7,495,000
Sale Price: $7,250,000

The Property: This Prairie-style house-whose art glass and other decorative details have a beach grass motif that references its Lake Michigan shoreline setting-sold July 30th for the highest price on record in Wilmette. Built in 1915 on a street that is still cobbled in bricks, the house was the design of John van Bergen, a protégée of Frank Lloyd Wright. While working for Wright, van Bergen created many of the drawings for one of Wright’s grandest achievements, Robie House in Hyde Park. He went on to craft many Prairie-style houses and other buildings of his own on the North Shore, as well as in Barrington and Lake Zurich.

“His distinctive touch was very broad stairways,” says the seller, Randall Randazzo, a urological surgeon who had lived in the house since 1993 and studied van Bergen. “The main staircase is about six feet wide, and even the one going down to the [basement] is four feet wide.” (The place won a spot on the National Register of Historic Places after Randazzo and his then-wife did a full restoration and put on an addition.) Elaborate banding around the walls and baseboards, many built-in features, and other details are all executed in van Bergen’s preferred mahogany; the axis of the cruciform floor plan runs east-west, maximizing exposure to the sun. “I’ll tell you, we got sun all the time,” says Randazzo, who sold the house because of his divorce. “And of 17 rooms, all but two or three have beautiful views of the lake.”

Price Points: Two years ago, a similarly sized house on the same street sold for $3.46 million, establishing a record for Wilmette that, according to data from the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois, stood until this van Bergen gem sold.

Buyers: Not yet identified in public records

Listing Agent: Chris Downey, Koenig & Strey GMAC, (847) 441-6300

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