List Price: $5,850,000
Sale Price: $5,158,125
The Property: Fred and Kay Krehbiel last Monday sold the Lawrence Rockwell residence on Lake Shore Drive that they had owned since 1988. The ten-room Georgian mansion, which is slender along its east and west faces (Lake Shore Drive and Stone Street, respectively) but has an expansive and imposing north façade on Goethe Street, was completed by Holabird & Roche in 1911, the year after that firm completed the conjoined Chicago City Hall and Cook County buildings in the Loop. It’s part of a small cluster of mansions that remain on the Gold Coast–section of Lake Shore Drive, relics of the area’s early 20th-century splendor. Four stories high and with a finished basement apartment, the house has five bedrooms, five-plus baths, a richly paneled third-floor library, an elevator, and a landscaped rooftop deck with uninterrupted lake views.
According to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, the Krehbiels paid $1.3 million for the house in 1988. They then undertook a thorough renovation with Hammond, Beeby & Babka, an architecture firm that was soon to embark on the design of the Harold Washington Library Center.
Marie Campbell, the Koenig & Strey Real Living agent who represented the Krehbiels in the recent sale, says they fitted the house with “exquisite furnishings; it was kind of a museum of Regency and good English furniture. The furniture was [worth] more than the house.” (The furniture was not sold with the house.) Photos that accompanied the listing show sumptuous antiques in a very formal setting of heavy drapes, painted picture frame moldings, and crystal chandeliers.
Fred Krehbiel is the co-chair—with his brother, John—of Molex, the Lisle-based electronic components company founded by their grandfather (also named Frederick) in 1938. Forbes magazine ranked Fred Krehbiel as a billionaire for a few years until it reported he had dropped from that rank in 2001. John Krehbiel stayed on the Forbes list of richest Americans until 2007.
Campbell would not talk about the sellers or their plans. In September, I reported that Fred Krehbiel was paying $4 million for the former Brooks and Hope McCormick residence in a co-op at 1530 North State Parkway. That transaction closed in June. (On a related note, in the Deal Estate column in Chicago’s December issue, on newsstands this week, I write that the childhood home of Krehbiel’s uncle, the legendary White Sox owner Bill Veeck, is now on the market.)
The Krehbiels’ Lake Shore Drive home went under contract in July—it had been listed for about three months, Campbell says—and the sale closed November 8th. She would not identify the buyers, and their names are not yet in public records. I could not reach the Krehbiels for comment.
Price Points: While the new home on State Parkway looks like a $1 million trade-down for the Krehbiels, in per-square-foot terms it was more expensive. On Lake Shore Drive, where the square footage is 5,024, the Krehbiels got about $1,026 per foot. On State Parkway, they paid about $1,060 per foot for a 3,772-square-foot home that needs renovation.
Listing Agent: Marie Campbell of Koenig & Strey Real Living; 312-893-1347