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Christopher Kowalski’s home may not be his castle, but his guesthouse sure is. A three-bedroom castle complete with turrets, gargoyles, and rooftop battlements, the guesthouse stands about 50 yards away from the four-bedroom Tudor home where Kowalski and his wife, Grace, have lived since 1990. The two houses (as well as a six-car garage, a tree house, and a gazebo) share a secluded 3.25-acre site next door to the 1,800-acre Paul Douglas Forest Preserve  in an unincorporated part of Palatine Township in northwest Cook County. The house has a street address in Schaumburg—the same town where you will find the more familiar Medieval Times castle, which is about a mile away overlooking the Northwest Tollway at Roselle Road.

Completed in 1995, the castle was intended to be a small house for Grace’s mother; it turned out to be too big for her, and after a few years she moved to another house nearby. The stone turret of the Kowalskis’ main house inspired the castle’s design, but, as Christopher recalls, “it got out of hand.” He and their son, also named Christopher, worked with an architect to create the stone fortress with a crenellated top and four hollow-topped turrets. “I was going to add a moat and another turret out front,” says the senior Christopher—a dentist whose Advanced Dental Centers are in Palatine and Addison—“but my wife would have divorced me.” Grace Kowalski nods in confirmation.

With both their kids grown, the Kowalskis are ready to downsize, so they have put the entire property on the market, with an asking price of $2.4 million. Their listing agent is Marcos Avila of Accord One Real Estate: 773-931-4251 or

The day I visited the castle, it was raining too hard to shoot any video, so please check out the photo tour we’ve put together.