List Price: $1.2 million
Sale Price: $750,000
The Property: For more than 30 years, this mid-century modern house and a much older barn were the home and movie studio of Ted Peshak. For the old Coronet Studios in Glenview, Peshak directed hundreds of educational movies, including What To Do on a Date, School Rules: How They Help Us, and Are You Popular?
By the time he built this lakeside compound, Peshak was primarily making corporate films for McDonald’s and other companies. According to Peshak’s son Gary, the studio at its height employed 20 people. The barn, with its giant cartoon logo for Peshak Films, can be seen from I-94 where it crosses Bradley Road in Lake Forest.
The property had its origins in the late 1950s, when Peshak bought about 65 acres of soybean farmland west of Lake Forest. He gave tollway builders the right to haul out tons of dirt for construction, and the rectangular ten-acre hole they left behind became Lucky Lake.
In 1960, Peshak and his wife, Margaret, commissioned the architect Edward Humrich to build their house. “It was the craziest house in Lake County at the time,” says Gary Peshak, now 68 and living in Tennessee. “Humrich didn’t like right angles, so it’s all 60-degree corners.” The house has several balconies, a “prow” jutting out toward the water, and a soaring roof. Inside, there is a six-foot-high fireplace and a living room with 17-foot-high ceilings that opens like a V to a wall of lakefront windows. “[My father] loved to throw a party, and that is a party house,” says Gary Peshak.
Beginning in the late 1990s, the Peshaks subdivided the land, donating 20 acres to the Lake County Forest Preserve; the 12-room house and barn retain 1.5 acres. This property is part of a homeowner’s association that shares ownership of Lucky Lake and a party pavilion and beach at the opposite end of the water from the Peshaks’ house.
Price Points: About nine years ago, Ted Peshak unsuccessfully listed his home for sale at $2 million. He died in 2005, and his widow no longer lived in the home. Before listing the house with Barbara Redszus in late 2007, Gary Peshak made some improvements to the house, repairing the aging roof and replacing some hardwood floors. His original asking price of $1.4 million was later reduced to $1.2 million. The sale, to a buyer not yet identified in public records, closed on March 20th at only $750,000, which didn’t surprise Gary Peshak. “The barn needs to be repaired before you can go in, and honestly, that’s a hard house to live in,” he says. “The bedroom ceilings are low, and it’s very hard to keep the place heated.” In addition, the tollway is right next to the property, and there is a small cluster of business buildings just beyond a nearby berm. Nevertheless, Gary Peshak says, the buyers indicated that they plan to keep the house and fix the barn with its Peshak Films logo.
Listing Agent: Barbara Redszus, Koenig & Strey GMAC, 847-234-8400, ext. 5019
Photo courtesy Barbara Redszus