Photography: Matt Monsueto
After lovingly restoring one while living in the other, the owner of two historic mansions in Lake Forest has put both on the market. Jeffrey Brincat, CEO of Consumer Financial Services Corp., says he believes that Illinois’s pension obligations and high taxes “are going to evolve into something substantially worse,” so he’s uprooting his family and heading to Tennessee, a state that he claims has a “friendlier business climate.”
The more expensive of the two properties is Bluff’s Edge, a grand 1928 Georgian listed for $6.5 million. The seven-bedroom house, across the street from the town’s beach, sits on four acres of rolling green turf—land that historians claim was the site of the first round of golf in Illinois in 1892. The property was in foreclosure when Brincat and his wife, Kelly, bought it for $5.2 million in 2010.
During the two-year renovation of Bluff’s Edge, Brincat and his family lived one mile south, in Vallombrosa, a 1914 villa that is the work of the architect Edwin Hill Clark. He built the four-bedroom manse early in his career, before designing Lincoln Park Zoo, Brookfield Zoo, and several buildings at North Shore Country Day School. Brincat calls the property a “classic Tuscan-style house for entertaining in an incredible setting,” describing ravines in the back and a great front lawn with an Italianate fountain. The house is listed for $4.45 million, $450,000 less than Brincat paid in 2006. The agent for both homes is Mary Kay Brunner-Dasse of @Properties.