List Price: $1.5 million
The Property: In 1999, when this Prairie-style home that stands above the Des Plaines River in Maywood last changed hands, the trust that bought it “had no idea what was in here,” says Margie Arnold, the Keller Williams agent now representing it for that trust, which is selling.

Much of the three-acre property was so overgrown it looked like a weedy extension of the Thatcher Woods forest preserve across the river, she says, and inside “there was junk and more junk. There were several businesses being run [from] this house.”

In the intervening years, the owners have cleaned up the lot, revealing a footbridge, a series of ponds, and other fanciful landscape elements designed by the great Jens Jensen. They’ve also cleaned up and repaired the interior of the house, whose architect, John S. Van Bergen, designed it to reach out to its natural surroundings via several projecting rooms and balconies.

With its ample wood trim and distinctive windows intact, the house is in fine, livable condition, though a buyer will probably want to take it the rest of the way by updating the kitchen and baths and rehabbing the wood-and-stucco exterior. Those needs are factored into the asking price, Arnold says, but so are some positives, including that it’s “the biggest piece of riverfront land within miles, but it’s just [12] miles from downtown Chicago.”

Click through my photos below for a tour of the house and grounds.