Blufftop Beauty in Winnetka
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List Price: $5.495 million
The Property: Standing high on a Winnetka bluff in what’s known as the Ravines, this 50-year-old house offers a view to the west of the tree-filled ravine and to the east of Lake Michigan. On a gorgeous summer day like the one when we shot today’s video, it’s easy to see why Robert and Moya Chase haven’t wanted to move in the 35 years since they bought the home.
The couple—who run the Merrill Chase Galleries started by Robert and his father, Merrill, in the mid-1960s—have surrounded the house with extensive gardens, numerous sculptures, and a swimming pool. But the main attraction is clearly the lake. Almost every room in the house has large eastern windows that frame a view of the water, and in some cases, such as the kitchen, the Chases took out walls that blocked the vista. The deep living room has windows on three sides and a fireplace, and the two main bedrooms on the second floor flank a large common room (with a panoramic lake view) that could function as a family room or media room. The master bedroom has his-and-hers baths and a large sitting area with views of the gardens, the pool, and the lake.
Built in 1963, the house stands on an acre and a half and has about 125 feet of private beach (about 50 feet below the bluff). It has teak floors, picture-frame moldings in the paneled dining room, an elegant, curving staircase, and a contemporary farm-style kitchen by DeGiulio, with pot racks, glass-fronted cabinets, and a cove hood over the stove. There are three bedrooms on the second floor, and the first floor and the basement each have another bedroom. Sharon Friedman, the lead agent on the team selling the house, points out that more second-floor bedrooms could be added in a new wing supported by the single-story garage.
Price Points: The Chases bought in 1976 from its original owners; I could not determine what they paid. Their big investment in the property over the decades includes a costly beach-and-bluff protection project in the 1980s, when many of the North Shore’s bluffs were falling down. Friedman says that the property has gone under contract, but that contingencies in the contract allow her to continue showing it for sale for at least another two weeks.
Listing Agent: Sharon Friedman/Capitanini Team at Coldwell Banker; 847-441-1036