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Lake Bluff Mansion and One-time Church

List Price: $10.9 million
The Property: With an enormous indoor pool and recreation area, an indoor sports court, and a basement that contains a movie theatre, a full bar, and a barber shop, there might be no reason to even exit this 15,000-square-foot house—except that it overlooks Lake Michigan and…

 

List Price: $10.9 million
The Property: With an enormous indoor pool and recreation area, an indoor sports court, and a basement that contains a movie theatre, a full bar, and a barber shop, there might be no reason to even exit this 15,000-square-foot house—except that it overlooks Lake Michigan and 265 feet of private beach.

The mansion stands on five acres at the north end of Shore Acres Golf Club, a secluded country club in Lake Bluff that encompasses several impressive older homes. The house was the subject of controversy recently after its owner, George Michael, declared the property a church because, he said, his wife’s declining health made it impossible to travel to their church in Chicago. In July, an administrative law judge stripped the property of its tax-exempt status, which had saved the owners about $150,000 in property taxes over two years. †his fall Michael told a reporter that he has been ridiculed so much over the case that he no longer feels welcome in Lake Bluff.

In 2004, Michael bought the 1920s house and its five-acre site for $3 million; his additions resulted in the present 15,000-square-foot home. Just one small wing of the original home remains; it contains a cozy lake-viewing family room and an apartment upstairs for staff or guests. The new parts of the house include large formal rooms, five bedrooms (each with its own bathroom and outdoor space), an elevator, murals of Hollywood legends, and other details you will see in the video and photos. There are many personalized touches, including the flower motif painted on virtually every interior door and, in the barber shop, a mural of a barber in a downtown lakefront setting.

Outside, there is a patio and outdoor kitchen atop a bluff, as well as a large beach-level deck for entertaining. The view takes in the small private harbor of Great Lakes Naval Training Center, which is separated from this property by just one other home. Elsewhere on the estate is a smaller building that Michael had designated the chapel.

Price Points: Michael, who is in real estate, initially listed the house last summer as a for sale by owner with a price tag of $12.5 million. He soon took it off the market. In November, it was again for sale, listed with Monica Childs of @Properties at $10.9 million.

Listing Agent: Monica Childs of @Properties; 847-763-0200 or monicachilds@atproperties.com

 

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