Real Estate

Historic Lakeview Mansion Listed at $5M, Built for Elizabeth Ward in 1918

Historic Lakeview mansion listed at $5M, offering 14,000 sq. ft. of Renaissance Revival elegance at $356 per sq. ft.

By Doug Elli

6/11, 07:20 EDT
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Key Takeaway

  • A historic 14,000-square-foot Lakeview mansion at 325 West Wellington Avenue is listed for $5 million, or $356 per square foot.
  • Originally built in 1918 for Elizabeth Ward and later owned by the Armour and Pearson families, the estate retains many original features.
  • The property includes 11 bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a coach house with a three-bedroom loft, and modern updates to utilities and several bathrooms.

A Historic Lakeview Mansion Hits the Market

For the first time in nearly a century, a historic Lakeview mansion at 325 West Wellington Avenue is up for sale, listed at just under $5 million. This 14,000-square-foot Renaissance Revival-style estate, designed by architect Howard Van Doren Shaw in 1918, has been a residence for three prominent Chicago business dynasties. The property, which includes a two-story coach house and a private walled garden, is priced at approximately $356 per square foot. The estate's rich history and architectural grandeur make it a significant offering in the Chicago real estate market.

Architectural and Historical Significance

Originally built for Elizabeth Ward, widow of retail magnate Aaron Montgomery Ward, the mansion has retained many of its original features, including a grand brick facade, limestone-framed windows, and a windowed loggia designed to capture Lake Michigan breezes. The property also boasts historical elements such as an original elevator, vintage telephones, servant call buttons, and two large safes. While modern updates have been made to utilities, the roof, and several bathrooms, the kitchen remains a project for future owners, reflecting its ground-level placement from a bygone era of household staff.

Market Comparisons and Trends

The listing of this historic mansion comes at a time when high-end real estate transactions are making headlines across the country. For instance, a Mediterranean-style mansion in Highland Park, Texas, recently hit the market at $28 million, or $1,750 per square foot, highlighting the premium placed on luxury properties. Similarly, a Lake Forest mansion in Illinois sold for $5.18 million, albeit at a 35 percent discount from its initial asking price. These transactions underscore the varying dynamics in the luxury real estate market, where historical significance and modern amenities play crucial roles in property valuations.

Broader Implications for Luxury Real Estate

The sale of the Wellington Avenue mansion is emblematic of broader trends in the luxury real estate market, where historical properties with unique architectural features continue to attract discerning buyers. The demand for such properties is often driven by their historical significance, architectural uniqueness, and the prestige associated with owning a piece of history. However, the market also sees fluctuations based on modern amenities and the adaptability of these properties to contemporary living standards. This duality is evident in the ongoing interest in both preserving historical elements and updating properties to meet modern needs.