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Mansions from Chicago’s Great Gilded Age Architects Are For Sale in Lake Forest

The North Shore suburb has several buildings from David Adler and Howard Van Doren Shaw on the market, including a former stable that’s been converted into a four-bedroom house that comes in under a million.

You can get a David Adler building for under a million, if you’re willing to settle for a converted stable.   Photo: Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

Architecturally, Chicago is best known for its contribution to skyscraper design and engineering, but the area’s gilded age mansions were some of the nation’s most extravagant and exclusive during the time of their construction around the turn of the century. Chicago’s wealthiest looked to prestigious architects to make their mark and solidify their legacy through the establishment and construction of provincial country estates throughout the North Shore suburbs.

Two such architects include David Adler and Howard Van Doren Shaw. The pair are synonymous with Chicago’s gilded age residential architecture and both were prolific during their time, building dozens of residential structures throughout the Chicago metro area. The mansions designed by Adler and Van Doren Shaw remain some of the region’s priciest residences to this day.

A quick search shows that there are seven David Adler-designed properties currently listed on the market while five from Howard Van Doren Shaw are for sale. Here’s a look at the most recently listed properties from the illustrious architects.

1570 S. Estate Lane, Lake Forest—$750,000

You don’t have to be a multimillionaire to own a residence designed by one of Chicago’s great gilded age architects. Take this former stable (pictured above) by noted Chicago-area architect David Adler for the estate of advertising magnate Albert Lasker. The home, which features four bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms, boasts light finishes and tongue and groove ceilings that are true to its country estate heritage. The property entered market just this week asking $750,000.

745 Barberry Lane, Lake Forest—$4.25 million

Photo: Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

Designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw in 1905, this 7,500-square-foot Lake Forest residence features a classic Georgian-style appearance—a much more aesthetically tamed look than many of the grand, ornate estates that Van Doren Shaw designed for the area. The restrained look continues inside where traditional finishes abound. However, with six bedrooms and seven full bathrooms, this house was no less a true mansion when it was originally constructed during the first decade of the the twentieth century. The house has been on and off the market since 2015, with the most recent listing hitting the MLS earlier this month.

111 Moffett Road, Lake Bluff—$4.85 million

Photo: JS Eckert Photography

This country estate returns to the market after a thorough overhaul which has seen the home’s interior renovated with many newer finishes. Located in Lake Bluff, the French Provincial style mansion was originally built in 1922 and designed by David Adler to resemble the La Lanterne residence, the French presidential retreat located near the Palace of Versailles. Featuring a newer, and more contemporary look, this architecturally significant mansion reentered the market last week seeking $1.65 million more than its last sale price from 2016.

1345 Lake Road, Lake Forest—$8 million

Photo: Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

A true lakefront estate, this sprawling 11,000-square-foot mansion lords over a 3.68-acre property along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. The mansion’s highly stylized yet stoic design comes from Howard Van Doren Shaw and dates back to 1912, according to the listing notes. The interior packs a lot of look with its custom finishes and bright colors. And if the private Lake Michigan frontage isn’t enough, there’s also an outdoor pool located directly behind the house. According to public records, the estate last sold for $5.6 million in December 2011 and returns this month as a brand new listing.

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