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List Price: $2.195 million
The Property: The many windows that line the front of this 1920s Glencoe house evoke a summer day before air conditioning, when all those windows could be thrown open to lure in a cool breeze off Lake Michigan, just three blocks away. Set on a large lot in the heart of town, with the beach and the train station a short walk away, this may have been a quintessential North Shore summer home when designed in 1924 by the architect Robert Seyfarth for a family named Rodgers. It was clearly designed for indoor-outdoor living, with the many French doors opening from the living room and sun porch onto a walled patio and spacious lawns.
Since 1966, it has been the full-time home of Kalman and Lenore Goldberg and their four daughters. Kalman Goldberg died in 2010, and his heirs put the house on the market in March. As you will see in the video, the house is empty now and painted all white inside, a blank canvas for the next owner.
The house has a Jazz Age elegance in its formal living and dining rooms (both with fireplaces), its big foyer wrapped by a staircase, and its four-room master suite that includes a windows-all-around sleeping porch. A special spot in the house is the large landing or sitting area between the master suite on the west end of the house and the four bedrooms on the east end. According to Caroline Gonzalez, one of the Goldbergs’ four daughters, local lore says that a member of the thespian Barrymore family summered in the large bedroom at the east end of the house—the original homeowner owned theatres in Chicago—and plumbing was installed in a closet there for his convenience. She also noted the secret door tucked into a first-floor hall closet that leads to the garage. “I have often wondered if it had something to do with the Prohibition era,” she said in an e-mail.
As the sellers’ agent, Gloria Matlin, pointed out, some parts of the house need updating. The kitchen is key; as is, it’s perfectly serviceable, but it’s a long skinny space that doesn’t have that family-gathering vibe preferred today. Fortunately, the existing floor plan offers various options—combine the kitchen and the butler’s pantry, push the kitchen walls out to take over the rear basement stairs—and there is ample room outside to expand, too.
Price Points: This house is one of 38 Glencoe homes currently on the market at $2 million or more. They start at $2.1 million for a house that was redone after it had sold at foreclosure in 2009 for $925,000—after going for $3 million in 2004. (I wrote about the 2009 sale in the November 2009 issue of Chicago; unfortunately, the story is not archived on the magazine’s website.) They top out at $7.785 million.