The largest of seven condos in the former Playboy Mansion contains some evocative remnants of the building’s 113-year history. There’s the sumptuous wood-paneled ballroom, where George Isham and his wife, Katherine, the home’s first owners, entertained the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and the polar explorer Robert Peary. From 1959 to 1974, that same space was the social epicenter of Hugh Hefner’s sybaritic domain (the trapdoor that once led to his basement pool is still hidden in the parquet floor). In Hef’s one-time bedroom—originally the home’s library—stone lions carved into the mantel now overlook a sedate sitting room (above left).
Abby McCormick O’Neill, a descendant of the mechanical-reaper tycoon Cyrus McCormick, and her husband, Carroll Joynes, cofounder of the Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago, bought the 7,800-square-foot condo for $2.1 million in 1994. In July 2011, they listed it with Katherine Chez Malkin of Baird & Warner, asking $6.7 million. They later dropped the price to $5.8 million, and in May the condo sold for $5.2 million. The new owners’ names do not appear in public records. See photos and a video tour of the condo here.
Photography: (exterior) Todd Urban; (interior) Dennis Rodkin