If you’re looking to buy a home, and you have a chance to own a little piece of Lake Forest history, it’s nice to know that just such a house exists.
Located on the lush east side of Lake Forest at 700 North Mayflower Road is the Pullman Estate. Purchased by railroad magnate William A. Pullman III in 1926, the home was just a fraction of what it is today. At the time, the main house was smaller, built for a single woman. And what is now the west wing of the home was a detached dwelling where her brother lived.
Pullman wasted no time in commissioning noted architect Stanley Anderson to completely redesign the home and its grounds. The front of the house, once accessed from Spring Lane, became the back of the home to take advantage of the vast lawn and ravine views. A new, private entrance was created from Mayflower Road, while the main house and detached dwelling were connected and expanded. The home’s transformation reinforced Anderson’s reputation as a genius as he revealed an improved floor plan with classic architectural detailing that the home is known for today.
Pullman, an avid gardener and co-founder of the Chicago Botanic Garden, also created world-class gardens around the home’s three acres, bringing trees, bushes, and plants from around the world to complete his landscape. Most of his original plantings remain today as some of the finest specimens of their kind in the world—from a giant Gingko tree to rare Chinese maples and Japanese lilacs, to the original boxwood hedges which would inspire others to plant “Pullman boxwood” in their own formal gardens.
The Pullman family lived in this home until the early 1990s. Since then, the house has undergone another transformation. Virtually every inch has been restored and adapted to the needs of a modern family, while never compromising the architectural or historical integrity of this Stanley Anderson original. Modern touches like a home theater, office, and exercise room bring this home thoroughly into the 21st century.
When you enter the home’s front door, you’re welcomed into a bright foyer and center hall featuring beautiful millwork, brick flooring, and intricately painted wallpaper by Zuber, a famous French designer.
The sunny and airy living room is the perfect space for entertaining. Details such as the spectacular deep crown molding, arch-topped built-ins, wide plank hardwood floors, a fireplace with marble surrounds, and French doors make this a room not to be missed. Its charm is enhanced as it leads to one of the current family’s favorite rooms—a beautiful, hexagon-shaped conservatory with gleaming views of the home’s vistas.
Another favorite space for friends and family to gather is in the home’s de Giulio kitchen. If the high-end appliances, traditionally styled cabinetry, and gracious center island aren’t enough to win you over, the newly added breakfast room with its own separate entrance and mud room might do the trick.
Featuring all hardwood flooring and wonderful light, the second floor of the home offers a spacious master suite, plus five additional bedrooms and four full baths. The master bedroom is a private sanctuary with a beautiful fireplace, separate sitting area, a Juliet balcony, a luxurious ensuite bath, and a large dressing room.
Homes like this Mayflower manor are few and far between—where modern luxuries and classic design continue to make history.
To learn more about this home at 700 North Mayflower in Lake Forest, visit Vera and Pat Purcell’s website at veraandpat.com or call them at 847-372-6721.
—Ann Marie Scheidler