Sixteen-room, two-story co-op unit, owned by the late philanthropists Brooks and Hope McCormick

LIST PRICE: $4.995 million
SALE PRICE: $4 million

When a 16-room two-story co-op unit went on the market in April 2009 priced at $6.5 million, five nonprofit organizations looked forward to a big payday. The co-op’s owners, the late philanthropists Brooks and Hope McCormick, had designated the Lincoln Park Zoo, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry, Northwestern University, and the Switzerland-based World Wildlife Fund as the beneficiaries of the sale.

Fourteen months later, the co-op, at 1530 North State Parkway, was sold at a 39 percent discount from the original asking price, in part because the place needed modernizing—though Marie Campbell, the Koenig & Strey Real Living agent who represented the property, says that the formal rooms, designed by the architect David Adler, are “still gorgeous.” As with most co-op sales, the Cook County Recorder of Deeds doesn’t have the name of the buyer. But during the same week that the deal closed, Jay Frederick Krehbiel filed financing documents with the building, the only such papers filed since 2007. I could not reach Krehbiel for comment.

Hope McCormick died in 1993. Brooks McCormick, who died in 2006, was the last member of his family to head International Harvester, a company that grew out of the reaper company founded in Chicago in 1847 by Cyrus McCormick, Brooks’s great-great-uncle.


Photograph: Todd Urban