For a closer look at the house, launch the photo gallery »
List Price: $2.395 million
The Property: In the early 1980s, John and Sarabess Cahill fell in love with New Mexico—only John’s business was in Evanston. What to do? “We brought New Mexico here,” Sarabess says.
The Cahills found five acres of prairies and woods on the far western edge of Lake Forest, and there they built an authentic adobe home. James Economou, an Evanston architect, designed the place, and Joel McHorse, a Taos Indian, built it. McHorse lived on the property during construction and told the Cahills that he put some turquoise inside the walls to promote health and happiness in the home.
The house feels authentic inside and out. The exterior has the flat roof and round edges of the Pueblo Revival style; short garden walls enclose courtyards on three sides of the house. While the low-slung structure looks like something brought in from Santa Fe, it’s covered with stucco instead of real adobe, which couldn’t stand up to our harsh climate.
Inside, many of the materials are pure New Mexico, including the clay tile floors and the Ponderosa pine beams supporting log ceilings—in some rooms, scraped clean and in others still with their bark on. As you will see in today’s video, one of the finest interior details is a frieze by Christine Nofchissey McHorse of the first man and first woman. The large master bedroom is on the first floor, surrounded by garden views; there are three other bedrooms, each with a pleasant panorama of its own: The views out from the house encompass restored prairie, a big pond and a waterfall, and the conservancy land south of the property.
Like traditional homes in New Mexico, the Cahills’ opens all around to those outdoor surroundings thanks to a screened porch, a sculpture courtyard, big windows, and even, in the master bath’s shower, a “spirit hole,” designed to let bad spirits out. (Because of our climate, it’s not an actual opening but sealed with a piece of glass art). There’s also a swimming pool out back, part of the walled rear courtyard that includes gardens and a dining terrace. On the sunny summer day when we shot the video, it felt as if indoors and outdoors were one. But the Cahills say winter is pretty too, when snow lines the tops of the garden walls.
Price Points: The Cahills put the property on the market in April at $2.395 million. Julie Morse, their agent, notes that the home, completed in 1989, “couldn’t be reproduced today for that price,” because the costs of the land and construction would be markedly higher than they were two decades ago.