List Price: $1.495 million
Sale Price: $1.235 million
The Property: All but invisible from the street, this mid-century modern house—designed by the architect Ed Dart to hug the rim of a Lake Forest ravine—was the home of Charles Walgreen from 2005 until late last month. The 12-room house is made of cedar, brick, steel and glass, all of which extend from the exterior to the interior, a characteristic of Dart’s designs. Although the front of the house is an inscrutable brick wall, the ravine side features broad windows that look out over a running balcony that juts over the deep, wooded ravine. Although two blocks from Lake Michigan, the 1.65-acre property comes with the right to use a private beach accessed by a trail through the woods.
Walgreen, who does not work for the drugstore chain founded by his ancestors, bought the house during his separation and divorce from his wife, Estelle (whose battles with her Lake Forest neighbors over her pet pigs have been widely reported). Charles Walgreen did not return my recent calls about this property. But in 2006, when he was trying to sell the home he had shared with Estelle since 1991—a Georgian mansion on five acres across town—Walgreen told me that he had known the Dart house since childhood. He said that he had grown up a block and a half away from the place, while living in a similarly low-slung modern house. “I played with the kids who lived in this house,” said Walgreen. In 2005, he bought the Dart house from Faye Peck, the mother of his childhood playmates. Peck and her husband, David, had built the house in 1959.
Walgreen had told me that the Dart house needed some updating, including the kitchen. “I’m going to do that shortly,” he had said, but there is no mention of a new kitchen or other upgrades in the current listing sheet, so it’s unclear if he ever improved the house.
Price Points: Walgreen paid $1.575 million for the house in 2005, at the height of the recent real-estate boom. He listed it for sale this April for $1.495 million, which was already five percent below what he had paid for it; on April 30th, he had a deal to sell the place for $1.235 million, a 21 percent loss. The deal closed on May 29th. Walgreen’s previous estate, which he called Rose Ridge Manor, has not yet sold. In 2006, at a Lake Forest hearing about his ex-wife’s pigs, Walgreen said that, in order to put Rose Ridge on the market, he had spent $60,000 to repair damage the animals had done there.
Listing Agent: Joe Kunkel of Baird & Warner, 708-798-1855