Seventy-year-old mansion mimics the rural style of French farmhouses Highland Park List price: $12.5 million sale price: $11.2 million
Built in 1937 for Fred L. Mandel Jr. (a member of the Mandel Brothers department store family), this 13-room house sits on four acres atop a wooded bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. Its most recent owner, Audrey Kaufman, sold the place this past January following the October 2006 death of her husband, Ira, the Chicago financier who helped raise $11 million for the 1986 renovation of the Chicago Theatre.
Designed in an eclectic French style by the architect David Saul Klafter, the North Shore residence has a half-timbered exterior, steeply pitched roofs, and a conical tower reminiscent of the rural farmhouses of Normandy. Inside there are nine bedrooms, nine-plus baths, and four fireplaces. Terraced steps descend from the bluff to the estate’s private 360-foot-long beach.
The property was purchased by a trust said to have been established by a North Shore businessman. The seller’s agent, Julie Deutsch of Coldwell Banker, did not return phone calls; the buyer’s agent, Ellen Chukerman of Baird & Warner, declined to comment, citing a confidentiality agreement with her client.