A recently-sold villa in Lake Forest

This 1917 villa, designed by David Adler, was built during an era when Chicago’s wealthy denizens had the time to cruise up the North Shore by yacht—which explains why the home’s grander façade (above) looks not to the street but toward Lake Michigan. In those days, visitors to the villa could dock their boats, climb the stairs up the lakeside bluff, and meander across a deep lawn lined with statuary to be welcomed by their hosts, the Chicago banker and attorney Charles Pike and his wife, Frances.

That same languid pace prevailed in this century as the house sat on the market for well over five years, from mid-2006 until March 2012. The final sale price, $4.1 million, was just 27 percent of the $15 million that the sellers, Yoonok and Hi Kyung Kim, were originally asking. (By the time of the sale, they had cut their price to $5.59 million.) That is the steepest discount from a boom-time listing that I have found among the lakefront mansions. The Kims, both doctors, bought the villa in 1984 and filled its hallways and parlors with antiques; they did not, however, update the kitchen and six-plus baths. I could not reach the Kims, and their agent, Houda Chedid of Coldwell Banker, did not respond to a request for comment.


Photograph: Dennis Rodkin