Housing Bulletin: Bill Wrigley’s Lake Forest Mansion on the Market
Pictured here from Chicago magazine's March 2000 issue, Bill Wrigley's 21-room mansion is now for sale.
The ten-bedroom Lake Forest house that Bill Wrigley bought in January 2003 for $9.9 million is on the market, with an asking price of $16 million. The offering is being handled as an “exempt” listing, meaning that it will not appear on any listing service or be publicized in any way. But Deal Estate learned that Lake Forest real-estate agents received guided tours of the candy-colored Italianate mansion and its lakefront grounds on May 19th. The listing agents, Ned Skae and Beth Marquardt of Prudential Preferred Properties, would not speak about the offering, and Bill and Heather Wrigley could not be reached for comment.
Designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw and completed in 1912, the house is trimmed with bays, dormers, pillars, urns, and other details. Its original owners were Donald Roderick McLennan, a Chicago insurance executive—he was a cofounder of the company that became Marsh & McLennan—and his wife, Katherine. The couple dubbed the house “Stornoway,” likely a reference to the Scottish town that was the birthplace of some of McLennan’s ancestors. Today, a big gate and large shrubs obscure views from the street of the 21-room mansion. On the side of the house facing Lake Michigan (the view shown in the flyer that was distributed to Lake Forest agents), the house has a swimming pool and a large terrace set off by a balustrade.
Bill Wrigley bought the house six years ago, just a few months after he reportedly paid $10.1 million for a 13,200-square-foot condominium in the 65 East Goethe building. The Goethe and Lake Forest purchases gave Wrigley both the first and second slots in Chicago’s annual roundup of the year’s highest-priced home sales that appeared in the October 2003 issue. Wrigley was divorced at the time, but in 2007 he married Heather Ann Rosbeck, a model and actress. (The Lake Forest house had been at the top of Chicago’s annual list of highest-priced sales once before, in 1999, when it was sold for $5.2 million.)
Information at the Cook County Recorder of Deeds shows that title to the 65 East Goethe condo was transferred from the Wrigleys to a Limited Liability Company in December 2008, with a price of $9.025 million. It is not clear from the records whether that represents a sale by the Wrigleys, or merely a transfer to their own LLC.
The Wrigley chewing gum company, launched in 1891 by Bill Wrigley’s great-grandfather, William Wrigley Jr., was sold to the candy company Mars in October 2008 for $23 billion; Bill Wrigley stayed on as executive chairman of Wrigley. In March, Forbes estimated Wrigley’s fortune at $2.4 billion, putting him at number 285 on the list of the world’s richest people.
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