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This Amazing, Eccentric Larry Booth Home in Winnetka Costs $1.85 Million

The Modern house by the celebrated Chicago architect is a big, bold space that’s on the market for the first time since its 1979 construction.

The Winnetka mini-mansion is mostly hidden from street view on a half-acre lot.   Photo: Courtesy Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff

Price: $1,850,000

An exemplary piece of Chicago modernism is on the market in Winnetka. Designed in 1979 by architect Larry Booth, the 4,900-square-foot all-white creation kind of looks, at first glance, like a municipal building burrowed into woods. Its insides, however, have a sly awesomeness: There are rising and falling wood-paneled ceilings, transom windows, a floating spiral staircase, and an open and a bright layout with a long, double-height rear window wall.

The place has actually never been on the market since the original owners, Jerry and Marcelle Bear, hired Booth to do the job. “Larry Booth was exactly who I’d been looking for,” says Mr. Bear. Booth, formerly of Booth, Nagle & Hartray and now of prominent firm Booth Hansen, had more than a decade of polished minimalism under his belt when this project started. By then, Booth had established his style, as had the other “Chicago Seven” architects like Stanley Tigerman, Ben Weese, and James L. Nagle—an anti-Miesian modernism, with simple, eccentric structures that were always very livable.

Living in this would would definitely give you a sense of 1970s fab. A few more details:

  • Marble floors cover the entire main level.
  • A mirrored wet bar juts into the living area.
  • In the master bedroom: More mirror walls, and a walled-in patio.
  • The second level has another five bedrooms and an open bridge midsection.
  • Down a spiral staircase, you find a finished basement with family room, fitness area, and a secondary catering kitchen that the sellers used for big dinner parties.

So how easily will the home sell? Listing agent Chris Downey, of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff, puts it this way: “Somebody who likes something like this knows they’re not going to find a second one.”

Price Points: The Bears are asking $1.85 million for their six-bedroom, six-bathroom home. Thirty miles away in west suburban Hinsdale another Booth-designed home—six years older, a touch smaller, on the same size lot, with a strikingly similar interior—sold in April for $1.35 million.

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