Designed by David Adler, a former coaching inn is a ‘one-of-a-kind gem’

A die Chicago the region’s most famous architects—David Adler— designed a 480-acre estate in the 1920s and 1930s in the northern suburbs of Lake Forest.

The entire huge estate was built in 1931 to Albert Laker as a sort of consolation prize when he was denied entry to a local country club. Lasker then set about building his own country club, including a bowling alley, cinema, shed, solarium and brick barns.

Many of the original structures, including this shed, 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 not even anything near this property.”

Outside

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Entrance

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Renovations galore

In 1995, the four-bedroom house was stripped down to the half-timbering and completely renovated. Electrical, plumbing and heating have been updated and two wings have been added. The current owners bought it in 2012.

These days, the 6,159 square foot home has just been renovated by a local interior designer Anne Marie Farino.

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

Other original details include the Ludowici clay tile roof, entrance doors and intricate joinery. In the hall, there is a beautiful brass staircase.

A whimsical feature is a hidden bathroom in a room now used as an office, discreet behind a wall of art.

Outside there is a built-in fireplace, water fountain, pergola and bluestone patio.

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

The kitchen includes a central island with quartzite countertops, high-end appliances and a dining area.

Kitchen

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The living room

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Dining room

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Breakfast corner

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Beautiful in the lake forest

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

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

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

In recent years, buyers have been drawn to this affluent city for his 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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Salon

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One of the baths

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