Just after the New Year, we wrote about how more & more REALTORs host tours of historic houses as a unique marketing tool, as a way to attract buyers of historic homes. (Read that post here).
Next week, near Chicago, five real estate agencies are collaborating to host an impressive historic house tour in the swanky North Shore town of Lake Forest. Apparently targeting the “business lunch” crowd, the tour is to be held on Tuesday, February 10th, from 10am to 2pm. The tour’s lead organizer, Maureen O’Grady-Tuohy of Koenig & Strey GMAC, is hoping for 200 people to attend. It will be interesting to see if they have anywhere near that kind of turnout, since the tour recently held south of Boston yielded only about 15 attendees, despite being well-publicized. Some of the highlights from the 5 property tour in Lake Forest:
(Oh, and don’t forget your checkbook!) . . .
290 Ridge Road (Photo Right) — Offered at $1,400,000. I could not find other references to this, but according to O’Grady-Tuohy, the barn and coach home of the famous “Great Gatsby house” is notable for its historical significance. She has said it is believed that F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote his famous novel “The Great Gatsby” from the coach house, and that the Daisy Buchanan character in the novel was modeled after Ginevra King, who lived in the main house. Oddly, the listing on Realtor.com makes no reference to this very fascinating historical claim. And, keep in mind that this is the “coach house” – not the “main” house. (Imagine what that would cost!?)
2 N. Ahwahnee Road (See photo- top, left) — Offered at $2,299,000, the Harold J. Bryant House was designed by famed architect Hugh Garden. The house, which was built in 1916, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and it received the Lake Forest Preservation Award in 2008. From Realtor.com: “This gracious six bedroom, three story Prairie Colonial is nestled among Heritage Oaks on 1.6 private acres. …..has original formal gardens which have been carefully and elegantly restored to reflect its historical significance and extensively remodeled to claim its rightful place in Lake Forest’s future.”
1005 E. Illinois Road (Photo, Left) — Offered at $1,995,000. The original Japanese “Tea House” of the historic Walden estate, it was built for when the Emperor of Japan visited Mrs. Cyrus McCormick in the 1950s. Sited in a “beautiful ravine setting,” with waterfalls and the whole works.
435 E. Illinois Road — Offered at $3,500,000. This 1895 classic Victorian home includes a seven-room coach house and barn and is centered in a row of Victorian estates. 6 BRs & 5.5 Baths. Photos here.
In an article in the local newspaper, O’Grady-Tuohy noted the value of historic house tours for available listings: “I think [the tour] is a great opportunity for local residents to experience history, not just by seeing it, but by walking through these houses and feeling the history,” she said. “Each house is unique in its own way.” No reservations are required, and apparently there is no cost. For more information, call Maureen O’Grady-Tuohy at (847) 845-6444.