Sale Price: $5.2 million
List Price: $5.795 million
Nancy L. Hughes, the widow of the director John Hughes, has paid $5.2 million for the Lake Forest mansion owned by the developer Robert Shaw. John Hughes, who died of a heart attack on August 6th, was the director and/or writer of a number of films—including Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, and the Home Alone series—set in the North Shore suburbs of Chicago. At the time of his death, Hughes and his wife were living on a farm in northern Illinois; in 1988, they paid $600,000 for a big Tudor near Lake Michigan and less than a mile from this house. Nancy Hughes still owns the Tudor.
Shaw, whose makeover of the shuttered Barat College recently ended in foreclosure, built the house in 2005. Situated on a densely wooded lot that Shaw had owned since 1988, the 17-room Cotswold-style house, designed by Guedtner & Melichar Architects, has two steeply pitched roofs framing a half-timbered bay. The 9,000-square-foot house, which has many artisanal details inside, has an L-shaped footprint that forms a triangle with the ravine out back. A 55-foot-long wooden bridge connects the house to the street. The deal closed in October. I was unable to reach Shaw or Hughes for comment.
Before taking on the Barat College project, Shaw had successfully transformed two other distinctive Lake Forest parcels into residential developments. He turned part of Lake Forest Academy into the Academy Woods subdivision and a swath of Elawa Farm, an old Armour family estate, into the Preserve of Middlefork Farm. In January 2006, Shaw announced that he had agreed to buy what had been Barat College and planned to build up to 150 condos, townhouses, and row houses on the 23-acre campus. In October 2008, Harris Bank foreclosed on the project (known as Barat Woods), and little has changed at the site since then.
ALSO: Coldwell Banker’s Jennifer Ames, a top-selling city agent, is leading a seminar Thursday evening at Ann Sather’s in Lake View; her panel will provide tips about how best to sell your home in today’s market.
(Lena Singer, a Chicago intern, contributed to the reporting on today’s item.)