Abel Davis, a banker, civic leader, and veteran of the Spanish-American War and World War I—for which he received the Distinguished Service Cross— commissioned the society architect Robert Seyfarth to design this North Shore mansion in 1923. For three decades, General Davis lived there with his wife, Marjorie, the Glencoe woman he had married the year before the house was built. According to family lore, the couple entertained both Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower there.
Following a meticulous renovation by the developer Susan Abrams of JCA Properties, the 123-foot-long house feels new. "It read like an old house," Abrams says, recalling the recent rehab. "There were these fantastic room sizes, but small doors closing them off." She opened new, wider doorways and removed a wall that boxed in the main staircase. She also retrieved some hefty wood beams from the basement for use in the family room and built an addition for the garage with bricks from an old house that was torn down a few blocks away.
Out front, the house now has a motor court rather than its old asphalt driveway—the better for receiving some future presidential visit. The house is listed for sale with Coldwell Banker’s Julie Deutsch.
Photography: Chris Guillen