Whether it’s a residence designed by a contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright or one of the oldest homes in the North Shore, there are a number of unique properties for sale right now in the affluent suburban communities situated along Lake Michigan. Of course they are all going for a huge chunk of change (that’s to be expected for the area), but let’s forget about price for a moment. Who wouldn’t want to own something truly one of a kind? Especially when it seems like we’re living in a cookie-cutter world more than ever. Suburbs and city neighborhoods have been taken over by trendy white farmhouse-style and modern box residences. So with that in mind, here’s a look at four extraordinary and distinctive dwellings currently on the real estate market.
The oldest remaining residence in Glencoe originally dates back to 1854 when it was built as a country house for former Chicago Mayor Walter Gurnee on land that had belonged to his father-in-law, Matthew Coe. Eventually, Coe’s Glen became Glencoe. Later homeowners included the founder of Glencoe, Dr. Alexander Hammond, and George Ligare, who operated one of the largest lumber yards in Chicago (it’s now the site of the Merchandise Mart). The Second Empire-style home was significantly expanded in 1876 and restored by historic preservation architect R. Scott Javore in the mid-1990s. Its close proximity to Glencoe’s downtown, the Jeanne Gang-designed Writers Theatre, and the Metra train stop means owners can watch all the hustle and bustle from the home’s wraparound porch or third story.
On the market for the first time is this work by architect Michael Pado, a student of Mies van der Rohe, who created a truly marvelous design full of curves and angles and walls of glass. For years, historians have argued that 1980s postmodernism, or pomo, is having a revival of sorts. You could see why just from the three-story circular red-and-white staircase. Its location on a private cul-de-sac overlooking a ravine — best viewed from the screened porch or deck — takes the home to another level. No surprise this four-bedroom, four-bathroom residence is already contingent less than a month after it was originally listed.
Would you like to live in a former chapel? Back in 2005, the historic Mallinckrodt College in Wilmette was transformed into a senior living development, keeping many of the vintage details intact. And that’s true with this two-bedroom, three-bathroom condo, which has dramatic high Florentine-style ceilings and intricately designed columns throughout the main living space as well as the bedrooms. A spacious balcony overlooks the western courtyard, while there are manicured gardens, fountains, and walkways located on the building’s 14 acres. The attached community center has a number of amenities including a fitness center, meeting rooms, and library.
A contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright, Prairie School architect George W. Maher lived and worked in Kenilworth where you can find about 40 of his designs, including this eight-bedroom house built for Francis Lackner in 1905. Maher was influenced by English Arts & Crafts, known for its craftsmanship and attention to detail, which is evident in the home’s brick and stucco exterior, angled beamed ceilings, built-in seats, and dozens of art glass windows. Located on 1.25 acres, the property also comes with a garage added in 2005 to showcase the longtime owners’ car collection. But they made sure the new structure matched harmoniously with the look of Maher’s original design.