Glencoe house

That’s Some Farmhouse

Perched on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, this 9,000-square-foot mansion started out, in the 1890s, as a farmhouse. Greatly expanded in the 1920s by Bruce MacLeish—at one time the president and chairman of Carson Pirie Scott—it received a meticulous 21st-century renovation at the hands of Ken and Katherine Weber, who bought the place in 2003 for $3.825 million. While preserving its exquisite craftsmanship, the couple made some smart upgrades, such as using an old dumbwaiter shaft to house the thicket of cables needed in today’s high-tech homes. They also installed a small cable car that travels down to the beach and a new multilevel deck.

The Webers listed the house in 2009 at $8.999 million. After several price cuts, they sold it in March for $4.585 million—or 51 percent of what they had originally sought. “They got an offer and decided to work with it,” says their agent, Monica Childs of @Properties. The Webers declined to comment on the sale, but by my estimate, the $760,000 profit on the deal would fall well short of covering their rehab costs. (For a 2010 video tour of the home, visit


Photograph: Dennis Rodkin

Lincoln Park house

A Big Comeback

This 8,000-square-foot single-family home sold in February for $4.5 million. It’s the most paid for a newly constructed spec house in the city since July 2009, when another Lincoln Park residence went for $5.6 million. “The demand for these large homes in Lincoln Park has definitely been rebounding,” says Tim Salm, the Jameson Sotheby’s agent who handled the sale for the builder, LG Development.


Photograph: Todd Urban

Evanston house

The 70 Percent

Georgian near Lake Michigan sold in February for $2.05 million. That’s 70 percent of what the sellers, Peter Frankel and Tracy Poe, had originally asked in August 2010 (they eventually cut their list price to $2.475 million). According to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, the couple bought the house for $995,000 in 2000.


Photograph: Todd Urban