Sale of the Week: The 11,000-Square-Foot Chimneys Cottage

A Lake Forest mansion recently owned by a retired VP from Baxter International, which features a stunning library addition by Howard van Doren Shaw and a hidden “speakeasy” bar, sells for less than half its 2008 asking price.

Chimney Cottage Lake Forest

List Price: $6.495 million
Sale Price: $5.625 million
The Property: A Lake Forest mansion sold Monday grabbed the highest home sale price in that elite suburb in six years—but it went for less than half what the sellers wanted for it when they put it on the market in April 2008.

Here is video shot at the 11,000-square-foot Chimneys Cottage in August 2008, showing many of the distinctive details of the property including a stunning library addition made by the architect Howard van Doren Shaw in the 1920s, a onetime “speakeasy” hidden bar hidden behind bookcases, and a lavish vegetable garden. At the time, sellers Tim and Gail Anderson—Tim is a retired senior vice president of Baxter International, the Deerfield-based healthcare products company—were asking $11.995 million for the home.

The Andersons were then planning a move out of state; by the time of the sale, the home was empty, as photos on the listing show. I could not reach the Andersons for comment.

The Andersons told me that the original piece of the home was a summer cottage sandwiched between two chimneys, built in the 1890s for a retired Confederate general on about ten acres. Over the subsequent century, it was added to and remodeled several times and in multiple styles. When they paid $1.7 million for it in 1998, it was a jumble of rooms, they said, and they launched what they thought would be a yearlong renovation. It lasted three years, but what emerged in the end was a gracious home with much of its history intact and burnished, and gracious new touches such as a large, welcoming kitchen adjacent to a big sunroom. The home now has 22 rooms.

Its grounds, reduced to three acres as pieces were sold off in the 20th century (not by the Andersons), sport lavish gardens, including a picturesque organic vegetable garden with a big pergola on one edge of the land.

I could not reach the Andersons or their agent, Elizabeth Wieneke, for comment. The buyers are not yet identified in public records of the sale.

Price Points: The sale price is 46.8 percent of what the Andersons originally wanted for the home. It is also the highest price paid for a Lake Forest residential property since August 2005, when Boeing CEO James McInerney paid $7.6 million for an estate several blocks east of this one, according to Midwest Real estate Data LLC.

Listing Agent: Elizabeth Wieneke of Griffith, Grant & Lackie, 847-234-0485

 

Photography: Redfin

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