Only 18 miles from Chicago, this “Beautiful Land” offers leaders of industry and entertainment seeking privacy, convenience, and luxury a perfect village to call home. Radio legend Wally Phillips, his wife Barbara, and their children called this stunning Winnetka Tudor estate, set on 1.3 acres of magnificent grounds, home for the duration of his Chicago-based broadcasting career.
“Wally’s voice was the first millions of Chicagoans heard every morning from 1965 to 1986,” former WGN-AM Vice President and General Manager Tom Langmeyer was quoted as saying. “His kind approach and connection to his audience was well known in Chicago and throughout the Midwest. He was one-of-a-kind, and he was a ‘broadcaster’ in the truest sense.”
The current owners, who purchased the property from the Phillips family, describe it as not only a spectacular home base but also the site of events of significance, including the launch of political campaigns and philanthropies as well as talks from White House representatives, authors, and other noteworthy literati and glitterati.
“Home is where memories are created and that’s certainly true of ours. Our home doubled as an important venue for campaigns and charities we cared about and supported,” says the owner. “On a personal basis, we hosted every parent party and sports team—from Winnetka schools to events for Williams, Emory, and Columbia—you name it, the party was here. Our children were athletes throughout college; hockey and tennis events took place here. We loved all the great activity and so did our family and friends, who were always welcome with an open-door policy. It’s a perfect house for an active family who likes to entertain,” notes the owner.
Featuring unique structural elements, this home offers the best of yesterday and today. Oak to create original millwork was brought from Germany in the 1920s, along with the original craftsman during the home’s construction (complete in 1926). Updates have been made to this architecturally significant home in keeping with the original vision. The recently completed, two-year, entire house renovation will impress even the most discerning of buyers. A previous Paul Konstant renovation and expansion of the original footprint makes it an entertainer’s dream with gracious, light-filled rooms seamlessly flowing into one another.
Current owners enjoy the circular floor plan with the majestic double atrium reception hall and large archways. The oversized living room features an ornate hand-carved fireplace. Wrapping around the living room, dining room, and foyer is the “heart” of the home where the family room and vaulted ceiling sunroom addition offers space for seating areas, games, and entertainment, and picture perfect views of the deep backyard and picturesque outdoor pool.
The second floor features a private study and six bedrooms, including a large master suite, and three updated bathrooms. The landing halfway between the first and second floor has a secluded study with a vaulted wood beamed ceiling and French doors opening onto a roof deck.
The fully finished third level has phenomenal bonus space with a game room, play room, and entertainment area with built-in cabinets and shelving throughout. A separate, deep storage room completes this spacious level.
Wally Phillips put his signature on the lower level, with a fully appointed ice cream parlor that friends and family—young and old alike—are drawn to. The recreation room is complete with a fireplace, space for a game table or sports area, and a kitchenette with a full-size refrigerator. Through the recreation room is a large workout room with easy access to the outside pool area.
The secluded grounds of the estate rival those of any country club with an enormous swimming pool, a gorgeous sunning deck, and an elevated slate patio. An adjacent walkway leads to the serene gardens with another seating area and a large Koi pond. To the East of the pool and gardens is a playhouse with running water and electricity delivers never-ending fun. If these walls could talk, we’d be regaled with tales of merriment in this one-of-a-kind Tudor.