List Price: $1,099,000
The Property: With its mix of crisp, orderly limestone on the lower walls and rusticated stucco and half timbers above, this mansion, built in 1927, isn’t sure whether it’s French or English. But instead of feeling confused, the eclectic exterior makes an apt container for what’s inside: a 13-room collection of materials and craftwork from different phases of its life that manage to fit together very nicely.
Well, most of them do. The frilly pink Laura Ashley wallpaper and Kelly green paint and carpet in a second family room above the garage shriek “1980s!” But that room is a minor distraction after the lordly manners of the living room, with a high beamed ceiling, plaster crests emblazoned in the walls, and a carved limestone mantelpiece that looks like a relic from a home centuries older (even though it was created for this house).
That room is original, but its counterpart on the other side of the house is a sunlit 1990s addition whose stone flooring and mantelpiece really are artifacts from an old European structure. There is antique brick-red tile in the foyer—all original to the house—and brightly colored tile imported from Portugal for a bar area in the addition. The kitchen features a very distinctive island: a granite slab laid atop a huge wooden chest found in New England. A second-floor library is paneled with hand-rubbed wood.
Hanging throughout the house are handsome antique light fixtures, many of them chosen by the late Bert and Lorraine Braverman, who owned the house from the 1970s until Bert died in 2006 (Lorraine had already passed away). The Bravermans were antique collectors, says Harry Maisel, the real-estate agent now representing the house for their estate, and they filled the house with objects that suited its Old World style. They are also the sources of the handsome formal garden of clipped shrubs that stands outside a sunroom, and of another garden outside the breakfast room that in summer is profuse with colorful perennials.
Price Points: The Bravermans’ estate first listed the house for sale in early 2007 with an asking price of $1,799,000. Price cuts have brought it down to $1,099,000. According to Prudential Preferred Properties’ Monday report on the Highland Park market, that price puts the house just $40,000 above the mid-point for properties now listed for sale in the town. But judged on aesthetics instead of dollars, this impressive home on a half-acre lot and with rights to a private beach just five minutes’ walk down a nearby trail rightly belongs much closer to the top. Its four upstairs bedrooms and two of the three upstairs baths all need updating.
Listing Agents: Prudential Preferred Properties’ Harry Maisel (312-264-1140; email@example.com) and Joanne Nemerovski (312-264-1100; firstname.lastname@example.org). For more details on the house, go to 385ndeerepark.com