Building a new construction home in East Lake Forest is not without its pressures. Sure, modern technology makes it possible to have state-of-the-art everything, but when an architect or builder embarks on such a project, there are special considerations that are unique to our city—provenance and pedigree.
It’s no wonder then that when a Lake Forest buyer set out to build a home at 55 East Onwentsia Road, renowned architect Phillip Leiderbach was hired to build a 21st century version of one of those early 20th century North Shore architectural landmarks.
Situated on three pristine acres, this classic French masterpiece took five years to complete. No detail was overlooked to give it all the integrity of surrounding estate homes.
“The homeowner achieved the historic look by using noted architect Philip Leiderbach of Leiderbach & Graham, known for restoration of historic homes and architecture that is timeless, with the look of older homes,” explains Jean Anderson, broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and listing agent for the property. “I think it is appealing because of the location and the home lends itself to families who do not want to do a restoration. Most of the older homes on this street have or need to be restored for today’s lifestyle.”
The current owner, who purchased the property before it was completed in 2009, says he could not be more pleased with the quality of the construction and the exquisite architectural details that put it in line with other historic estate homes in Lake Forest.
“Every aspect of the home was detailed in his plans, from the type of bricks and stone down to the window hardware and crown-moldings,” says the homeowner. “We just followed the plans. The chosen suppliers and sub-contractors were at the top of their trades, resulting in a ‘not to be duplicated’ creation.”
Featuring soaring 14-foot ceilings and walls of custom mahogany windows and French doors, the house embodies all the serenity and prestige of its location. From intricate mill work and custom marble, limestone, and white oak floors to six unique stone fireplaces, everything about the property lives like a historic country estate.
A stunning primary kitchen and separate chef’s kitchen, both with top of the line appliances, allow for seamless large, catered parties. And with lush landscaping, a gracious large circular drive and courtyard, enormous limestone terrace, custom swimming pool, spa and large stone fire pit, outdoor living and entertaining abound.
“We cannot take credit for selecting Leiderbach & Graham; that decision was made before we purchased the property. But we were very fortunate that Philip Leiderbach was the architect,” says the homeowner. “Each home that he creates is unique with many features inspired by David Adler. He supported our efforts to complete the house following his original design and vision.”
The property also features a full guest apartment with separate entrance. Heated dual garages with parking for five cars make this a one-of-a-kind secluded retreat.
Anderson says the location alone makes it a delight for future families. “It is East Lake Forest so you can walk to downtown and you’re not far from the lake,” she says. “It is family friendly with a huge kitchen and family room adjacent. My very favorite room is the library that is done in fully paneled walls of English pine … so warm and cozy.”
The homeowner says that as much as he and his family have enjoyed the property, it’s time to pass it along to new owners.
“We love the home and neighborhood so it will be a sad day when we eventually leave. The property supports everything we enjoy from the layout for entertaining on the 4th of July and the holidays to the art studio and theater,” he says. “One of the best aspects of the home is the private outdoor setting. We’ll miss sitting on the patio Sunday mornings, swimming in the pool on a hot afternoon, and harvesting the large garden for all our summer vegetables.”
The property at 55 East Onwentsia Road is currently offered at $7,900,000. For more information, contact Jean Anderson at 847-460-5412 or 847-254-1850.