Some of the most coveted and iconic homes on the North Shore—and in nearby Lake Geneva, Wisconsin—are on the market right now.
It’s a buyer’s market, and some of the more notable homes on the North Shore are on the market right now. From the architecturally significant—homes designed by renowned architects Jerome Cerney, Tony Grunsfeld, and Howard Van Doren Shaw—to homes in Winnetka that haven’t been on the market for more than 40 years. New construction, a beach house on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin, and other options make for a great time to buy a home in the area.
We are reminded during this time when many of us are staying and working from home of the importance of space and how the right home can contribute to our well-being and happiness. Many realtors report they are as busy as ever with virtual tours and talking to clients over webcams. The North Shore has always had a robust real estate market and that will continue.
The history of residential architecture on the North Shore is no secret. It started as an escape from the city with the development of large weekend estates and gradually transformed into a community where families live full-time, with excellent schools and other amenities. This century-and-a-half long evolution has helped create one of the most coveted residential real estate regions in the country, and that provenance is reflected in current listings.
Take, for example, 545 Crabtree Lane in Lake Forest. The home, listed by agent Annie Royster Lenzke, was designed by architect Jermone Cerny, the Lake Forest-based architect who designed many homes on the North Shore. Noted designer Megan Winters purchased the home in 2017 and completely transformed the interior while preserving the exterior of the home.
“The home was taken down to the studs, the floor plan was reconfigured, and the spaces were designed for today’s lifestyle,” Lenzke says. “This property is the best of both worlds with the benefits of an essentially ‘new’ home that was thoughtfully crafted by an elite designer with yesterday’s exterior charm.”
Lenzke adds that the property, which is east of Sheridan Road and just a block off of Lake Michigan, offers privacy in a peaceful and quiet location. A first floor office is ideal for those who work at home.
Annie Royster Lenzke, of the Dawn McKenna Group, is with Coldwell Banker Realty and can be reached at 847- 414-4045 or [email protected] dawnmckennagroup. com.
Lakefront lovers might also be interested in 346 Sheridan Road in Winnetka. The house, listed just this week by Jena Radnay of @properties, has been completely transformed from its clapboard origins. Built in 1921, the current owners purchased the house in 1997 and since then have tripled the square footage of the home, including an expansion of what was formerly a tiny basement into a large entertainment area. More of a Nantucket style house now, it has four floors of living area spanning 10,000-square-feet.
“It’s really one of the most notable houses on Sheridan Road, and a great family house,” Radnay says. “Everyone’s trying to copy it. It’s one of those houses where people drive by slowly and take pictures.”
Radnay has also listed (this week) 15 Woodley Road in Winnetka, a 2.2 acre estate that has been in the same family for 40 years. The 6 bedroom, 6.3 bath house features a chef ‘s kitchen that was remodeled in 2000 with a butler’s pantry, wine fridge, and freezer drawers.
Jena Radnay is with @properties and can be reached at 312-925-9899 or [email protected] com. Radnay has also developed guidelines for in-person showings during this time at touchlessshowing.com.
You can sleep where King Edward the IV of England slept during a visit to Lake Forest in 1924 at 255 Foster Place. The house, listed by agent Ann Lyon of Berkshire Hathaway, features 7 bedrooms, 5 full baths and 2 half baths, and sits on a 3.5 acre estate.
The house was designed by well-known architect Howard Van Doren Shaw, a leader in the American Craftsmen movement whose firm trained such architects as Daniel Burnham.
“It’s an architectural landmark with a remarkable history,” Lyon says. “The intricate plaster mouldings and architectural details are spectacular. The beautiful interior marble fountain and exterior limestone monumental fountain are one-of-a-kind and breathtaking.”
Ann Lyon is with Berkshire Hatahawy and can be reached at 847-828-9991 or [email protected] bhhschicago.com.
Renowned builder Henry Hemphill built many of the homes that were used in films directed by John Hughes, such as 16 Candles. Long-time Winnetka real estate broker Louise Eichelberger has listed the house in Winnetka that Hemphill built for himself.
Located at 79 Woodley Road in Winnetka, the contemporary home features classic pillars and large-scale rooms with high ceilings for luxurious one-floor living. The back of the home includes a sunroom and spa that overlooks a private backyard.
The house includes 6 bedrooms, 4 ensuite, and a large basement with a paneled rec room and plenty of storage.
Lousie Eichelberger is with @properties and can be reached at 847-612-3347.
Susan Maman, @properties broker, is not sure if 1162 Hohlfelder Road in Glencoe is the last house built by noted Chicago Bauhaus architect Tony Grunsfeld, but she’s sure it’s one of them.
The iconic ranch-style home features 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms and an open floor plan with floor-to-ceiling windows. The lower level includes a recreation room and the property has a heated garage and a turnaround driveway.
“It is truly a captivating, contemporary home,” Maman says.
Susan Maman is with @properties and can be reached at 847-878-5235.
Built in 2009, 25 Meadow Lane in Northfield is a private listing by Laura Fitzpatrick, a senior broker with @properties in Wilmette. The 6 bedroom, 9 bath English Manor home includes more than 10,000-square-feet of living area and a floor plan that’s designed for living and entertaining. Outdoor space includes a full-sized tennis court, fountains, and impeccably maintained terraces.
The home is located at the end of a private road and sits adjacent to Watersmeet Woods, which features walking trails and ponds. The home provides easy access to the expressway for trips to the city and O’Hare airport.
“There is plenty of space for everyone and, sitting on over an acre, there is room to add a pool or enjoy the large yard and the tennis court that is always open,” Fitzpatrick says. “The house features a private library, which makes working from home a breeze. It also features an in-law suite with a full, complete kitchen in the lower level, making it suitable for multi-generational living.”
Laura Fitzpatrick is with @properties and can be reached at 312-217-6483 or [email protected] atproperties.com.
Highland Park real estate broker Ted Pickus says he has the perfect listing for a family with younger children and a parent who may work at home. 779 Bob O Link Road in Highland Park features a basement with a crafts room and mock stage area. The home also includes a large family room with lots of natural light.
“The home features gorgeous stone and shingle exterior set back on over a half acre lot,” Pickus says. “It has a great open flow concept with tons of detail to interior finishes, featuring large moldings, transom windows, barrel and coffer ceilings.”
The home is also conveniently located just three blocks from downtown Highland Park and a block from Lincoln Park.
Ted Pickus is with @properties and can be reached at 847-417- 0520.
In Glenview, @properies agent Connie Dornan has listed 2000 Dewes, a home that, as Dornan puts it, is “true urban/suburban living at its finest.”
Just two blocks away from downtown Glenview amenities such as the Metra, library, and restaurants, the newer construction home has a completely updated kitchen and open floor plan.
“This is ‘THE’ place to live in Glenview if you’re looking for a neighborhood with loads of young families, walkability, and a sense of community,” Dornan says. “Children riding their bikes, block parties, progressive dinner parties, and more. Most people don’t move out of this neighborhood when they sell, they just upgrade to a larger home.”
Dornan adds that there are spaces in home where the whole family can be together but also individual spaces for work or play.
Connie Dornan is is with @properties and can be reached at 847-208-1397 or [email protected] conniedornan.com.
Take a drive up north just over the border and discover N2339 Geneva Oaks Trail in Linn, Wisconsin. The three-level lakefront mansion echoes the style of New England Coastal mansions and sits on Lake Geneva’s North Shore.
Listed by Janice Hartley of Keefe Real Estate, which has offices in Wisconsin and Illinois, the 5 bedroom 4.5 bath lakefront home features a lower level with a full entertainment kitchen and a lush lawn that leads out to a double pier.
“The owner originally purchased a small ranch and always envisioned building a wonderful home such as this one on the site,” Hartley says. “Tucked away on a cul-de-sac lane, it is a restful and quiet retreat. The position of the residence, set back off the lake with sweeping views of the lake across a beautifully manicured lawn, provides a welcome buffer from lakefront strollers and water activities.”
Janice Hartley is with Keefe Real Estate and can be reached at 262- 745-3630.