The Root-Badger House
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This neoclassical residence was designed by Daniel Burnham for the music publisher Frank Root and constructed, in 1896, by Paul Starrett, who also built the Empire State Building. Yet eight years ago, that sterling pedigree didn’t look like enough to halt the house’s destruction. Its owners had let the place decline, and the big lot was a developer’s dream, large enough for two new homes. In 2004, Landmarks Illinois put the house on its list of endangered places.

That’s when Gerald and Sharron Putnam stepped in, paying $4.2 million for the property, according to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. (Gerald founded Archipelago Holdings, the computer-driven trading company that merged with the New York Stock Exchange in 2006.) They launched a careful renovation and also expanded the kitchen and installed a movie theatre and a wine cellar in the basement.

In April, the Putnams listed the house at $8.95 million with Coldwell Banker’s Barbara Mawicke. See more pictures of the residence, known as the Root-Badger House (the lumberman Alpheus Shreve Badger was its second owner and added a new wing) below.


Photography: Dennis Rodkin