Winnetka Manor Sells for 43 Times Its 1952 Purchase Price
List Price: $4.9 million
Sale Price: $4.625 million
The Property: The sellers of this English country home in Winnetka got only 88 percent of the $5.2 million that they had originally asked for the place—but that’s still at least 43 times what their parents had paid for it in 1952.
The 12-room house on a secluded 3.1 acres in western Winnetka has many handcrafted details inside, including hefty wood beams and hand-scraped wood floors throughout and a wood-paneled ceiling and leaded glass windows in the very large living room. There is also one interior door that, according to Lois Anderson—the trustee of the house for her parents in the December 2010 sale—has been authenticated as dating to the 1700s. The house has six bedrooms, five fireplaces, and a separate coach house.
It was designed by Edwin H. Clark, the architect of many landmark buildings in Chicago and the suburbs, including the Waveland Field House, on the North Side lakefront, the Hinsdale Memorial Building, and the original buildings at the Brookfield Zoo. The house’s original owner was Dudley Cates, a Chicago executive who served as a top administrator with the Depression-era National Recovery Administration. Cates built the house on almost eight acres, but in 1951, he put more than half of the land up for sale separate from the house, according to records at the Winnetka Historical Society. “My parents didn’t think they could afford the [extra] land when they were already buying [Cates’s] rather large house,” Anderson says.
Anderson lives in Minnesota and is one of four daughters of the late George Everitt, who retired as chairman of Merchandise National Bank, and his widow, Barbara Everitt. Their daughter says that lore about the house traces some paneling to an old English abbey and several of the woodcarvings to centuries-old English homes. She was seven when the family moved in, and she recalls that she and her sisters “looked everywhere for secret passages, but there weren’t any.” When an original marble countertop in the kitchen was replaced, she says, her father broke it up to make permanent bases for a softball diamond out back. “We played a lot of softball, and we ran with our two collies in the meadow,” she recalls. “My parents spent much of the summer on our tennis court.”
George Everitt died in late 2009; his family put the house on the market in February 2010 with an asking price of $5.2 million, later lowering that to $4.9 million. The buyers, who closed on the sale in late December, are not yet identified in public records. Anderson suggests they may have to do some renovation: “The last time my parents did any updating was in the 1970s,” she says.
Price Points: I could not determine what the Everitts paid for the house, only Cates’s asking price: $107,500 (he had dropped it from $125,000). Assuming the Everitts paid what Cates was asking, the latest buyers paid 43 times more than the Everitts did for the house—though it’s only fair to point out that the Everitts spent the equivalent of $938,580 in 2010 dollars.
Listing Agent: Chris Downey of Koenig & Strey Real Living; 847-784-3045