The rear features 18 foot hight windows

List Price: $1,450,000
Sale Price: $1,011,500
The Property: “It’s a home that was built for the kind of people who loved the Rat Pack,” says Dan Delano, the real estate agent who recently sold this Park Ridge house, built in 1961. “I thought that would be a selling point, but I guess we live in a world of McMansions.”

Strictly rectilinear but otherwise purely 1960s, the house is like a more sober Midwestern cousin to the swooping ‘Palm Springs Modern’ homes associated with Frank, Dean, Sammy, and their crowd. Like many of the homes of that era, this one is far larger than it looks; the 4,500-square-foot floor plan includes 11 rooms, five of them bedrooms. Low and restrained in the front—with little zing other than its copper doors—the house gets swinging out back, where a wall of windows 18 feet high and a long slender balcony look out over Park Lake.

The low and restrained front of the house

Delano, an agent with L.W. Reedy in Elmhurst, is the son of the sellers, Leon and Carol Delano, who bought the house in 1978, when he was 15. With its expansive marble floors, abundant crown moldings, and views of the lake from almost every room, the home he remembers was “a great place to throw a party,” which he suggests his parents did frequently. Outside, the semiprivate lake was the place to ice-skate in the winter and ply small boats in the summer.

The Delanos listed the house for sale in 2006, but not with their son. “I was new in the business, and have you ever tried working for your parents?” he says. In mid-2008, with the house still unsold, their son took the listing. “I knew they didn’t have to sell,” he says. “They could hold on until they got the right price.” They accepted an offer in early November and closed the sale December 18th.

The buyers, who are not yet identified in public records of the sale, have already begun remodeling, Dan Delano says, “but they’re not taking it down.” Here’s hoping they’ll take Dean Martin’s suggestion to “Open up the door and let the good times in.”

Price Points: The Delanos first tried selling the house themselves, without an agent, with an asking price of $1.8 million. They listed with other agents before hiring their son. He believes the ultimate sale price is less than half what they could have gotten back in 2005, before the market started to sour. “They would have gotten $2.5 million in a heartbeat,” he says.

Listing Agent: Dan Delano of L.W. Reedy, 630-373-1125