One of the Chicago area’s most famed architects—David Adler—designed a 480-acre estate during the 1920s and 1930s in the North Shore suburb of Lake Forest.

The entire enormous estate was built in 1931 for Albert Lasker as a sort of consolation prize when he was denied entrance to a local country club. Lasker then set out to build his own country club, including a bowling alley, movie theater, coach house, solarium, and brick barns.

Many of the original structures, including this coach house, have since been converted into single-family homes.


“It’s a one-of-a-kind gem,” says Dooley Trace, who has been selling homes in Lake Forest for 21 years. “There’s nothing even close to this property.”

Exterior

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Entry

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Renovations aplenty

In 1995, the four-bedroom home was taken down to the studs and fully renovated. Electrical, plumbing, and heating were updated, and two wings were added. The current owners purchased it in 2012.

These days, the 6,159-square-foot home is fresh off a revamp by local interior designer Ann Marie Farino.

An artist was commissioned to hand-stencil panels in the dining room, using woodwork on the original doors as a guide. French doors added in recent years were modeled after the original doors, of which a few remain in the home.

Other original details include the Ludowici clay-tile roof, the entry doors, and intricate millwork. In the foyer, there’s a beautiful brass staircase.

One whimsical feature is a hidden bathroom in a room now used as a study, inconspicuous behind a wall of art.

Outside, there’s a built-in fire pit, water fountain, pergola, and bluestone patio.

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Despite its size, it’s a cozy place with four fireplaces and two primary suites on separate floors. The two remaining baths, recently remodeled, are also en suite.

The kitchen features a center island with quartzite countertops, high-end appliances, and a breakfast nook.

Kitchen

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Living room

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Dining room

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Breakfast nook

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Lovely in Lake Forest

Targeting a buyer who appreciates Adler’s architecture—and the home’s location—is key.

“They would see this home as an escape and a way to get away from the city,” says Dooley Trace. The buyer could even be a family with young kids.

“Now families want bigger properties, more space, room for a pool,” she says. “This one has enough space to accommodate a pool.”

In recent years buyers have been attracted to this affluent town for its new $400 million hospital, says Dooley Trace. Other area attractions include the beach along Lake Michigan and a historic downtown.

“Lake Forest has become even more popular now that people are working from home,” she says.

Study

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Sitting room

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One of the baths

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