Cornelius Field House in Highland Park. “The buyers’ plans are to appreciate everything about it and keep it all together,” says Blanche Romey Egan, who handled the sale of the house for the estate of Martha Ferguson MacLeod.“They are going to build a…">
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Grandparents Save Highland Park Landmark

List Price: $3,595,000
Sale Price: $3,000,000
The Property: Two unnamed grandparents have bought the landmark 134-year-old Cornelius Field House in Highland Park. “The buyers’ plans are to appreciate everything about it and keep it all together,” says Blanche Romey Egan, who handled the sale of the house for the estate of Martha Ferguson MacLeod.“They are going to build a…

List Price: $3,595,000
Sale Price: $3,000,000
The Property: Two unnamed grandparents have bought the landmark 134-year-old Cornelius Field House in Highland Park. “The buyers’ plans are to appreciate everything about it and keep it all together,” says Blanche Romey Egan, who handled the sale of the house for the estate of Martha Furgerson MacLeod.“They are going to build a garage and update the kitchen, which is from the 1970s.”

Built in 1875 for Cornelius Field, an original investor in the Highland Park Building Company, the residence was originally a two-bedroom Victorian farmhouse; a later addition on its west end (visible in the mixed look of the façade) transformed it into a nine-room, four-bedroom home. Behind the house is a former gardener’s cottage, and a four-bedroom former coach house stands across a bridge from the main property. An antique wrought iron fence, believed to be original, surrounds much of the property, which sits near a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. Landmarks Illinois had placed the four-acre Field property on its “watch list” of endangered sites; Egan says that, at some point, the property may have housed a school called Sylvan Dells.

MacLeod, who died in 2007 at age 82, was a writer whose money-management column first ran in the Chicago Daily News and then in the Chicago Tribune; the column was syndicated in more than 100 newspapers until MacLeod’s retirement in 1976. She had lived in the Highland Park house since the 1950s.

MacLeod’s heirs listed the property for sale in April. The sale closed December 1st. The buyers are not yet identified in Lake County public records, and Egan would not divulge their names, only saying that they were grandparents who live in Chicago but wanted a second home near their grandchildren in Highland Park.

Price Points: In September, when Landmarks Illinois published its Chicagoland Watch List for 2009, the Field house was one of two listed in Highland Park; the other was the home featured in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. “Many inquiries to date have been in regards to demolition and dividing the [Field] property into three lots,” Landmark reported. Egan says the new owners have indicated they have no such plans. “They fell in love with having all that land near the lake,” she says.

Listing Agent: Blanche Romey Egan of Coldwell Banker, 847-209-6106

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