1911 Evanston mansion

LIST PRICE: $2.5 million
SALE PRICE: $1.75 million

This Evanston mansion, originally built in 1911 for a manufacturer of corset stays, was sold in January for the first time since the 1960s. The sale price, seemingly low for a 10,000-square-foot residence on the North Shore, reflects the condition of the home. Though the house retains many of its original lavish details—carved exterior limestone and interior wood, plaster, and leaded glass—it needs new plumbing and other improvements. “The buyer will probably spend an equal amount of money to put it in order,” says Peter Tortorello, the Koenig & Strey agent who, with his colleague Chris Downey, sold the property for the estate of the last owner, Dr. Gleb Nedzel, who died in 2008.

The new owners are Bernard and Katherine Black. A professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Bernard Black will join the faculty at Northwestern University in September, taking a joint appointment at the law school and the Kellogg School of Management. “[The house] is not a gut rehab,” he says. “That would be a monster of a job. We built a home in Austin, so this seems easy.” Wielding his business acumen, Black calculated that the price he paid for the property was approximately the value of the land. “So,” he jokes, “they threw in the house for free.”

Send tips about home sales to dennis@rodkin.com.


Photograph: Dennis Rodkin