Winnetka mansion once owned by W. Clement Stone sells for $12M


A Spanish-style mansion on Lake Michigan in Winnetka that the late insurance mogul, philanthropist and author W. Clement Stone and his wife, Jessie, once owned sold on Thursday for $12.25 million.

The sale of the vintage mansion is the second-highest-priced Chicago-area sale this year, and it comes just one month after the highest-priced sale of the year, which was the $12.5 million sale of another lakefront mansion, also in Winnetka, to an undisclosed buyer.

Built in 1912 and recognizable for its red tile roof, the 10,000-square-foot mansion that sold Thursday has had just five owners in 111 years. Its first owners, Arnold and Lena Gilmore, sold it for $100,000 in 1919 to Albert Pick, the head of the Albert Pick restaurant supply company. Pick died in 1923, and his family sold the mansion in 1931 to James G. McMillan, the president of Ovaltine maker A. Wander Co.

McMillan owned the mansion until his death in 1965, and the following year, Stone and his wife bought it and eventually moved there from their mansion in Evanston. They remained in the home — and frequently held benefits in the upstairs ballroom — until W. Clement Stone’s death at age 100 in 2002 and Jessie Stone’s death at 100 in 2004. The Stone estate sold the mansion in 2006 to business executive Randy Abrahams and his wife for $8.1 million.

Abrahams and his wife first listed the three-story, five-bedroom mansion in September 2022 for $15.85 million, and they cut their asking price in April to just under $15 million.

The mansion has seven bathrooms, five fireplaces, an elevator with beveled mirrors that serves all levels, a living room with an imperial ceiling, a dining room with a hand-molded ceiling, a second-floor primary bedroom suite with 180-degree views of the lake, and a foyer with a double atrium staircase with braided columns and matching arched casings. Other features include new quartz baths adjoining the bedrooms and a lower level with a speakeasy bar that has green-cushioned banquettes and a custom-plastered mosaic ceiling with hand-painted and mirrored tiles.

Outside are 165 feet of sandy beach, a raised terrace, a new pool and a newly built, two-story cabana house designed by architect Paul Konstant that has an elevator and custom bar.

The mansion’s second floor was just rehabbed. However, listing agent Jena Radnay of @properties told Elite Street that the house “needs a new phase of love.”

“The cabana is perfect and the pool is sensational, but the main house does need a touch of love to take it into the 2024 standard of luxurious living,” Radnay said. “When you have a magnitude of a property like this, it deserves the very best. This house allows you to live your dreams.”

Public records do not yet identify the buyers, and Radnay declined to identify them. She added that she does not know whether the new owners plan to restore the mansion further or raze it and build something new on the property, as other buyers recently have done with other vintage mansions on the lake in Winnetka and other North Shore suburbs. Just down the road, billionaire Justin Ishbia recently demolished three adjacent homes on the lake as part of a record-setting $77.7 million mansion project.

However, Radnay said that she fully expects the Spanish-style mansion’s new owners to preserve the lakefront as other owners have in Winnetka, without needing to be required by government leaders to do so.

“The reason why Winnetka is so special is because in Winnetka, our lakefront owners are stewards of the lake and the only thing they care about is making sure their most prized possession is in the best possible shape it can be in,” Radnay said. “They’re stewards of their own property. I am sure this next owner will fall in line with the motto of all Winnetka lakefront owners.”

Radnay said her owner “got a great price, because the house needs work.”

“(The amount is) really land plus some cost of the house,” she said. “It’s a great comp for Winnetka. Everyone should be proud that we live in this amazing lakefront community that is second to none. We want to remain the pinnacle of lakefront living.”

The mansion had a $154,850 property tax bill in the 2021 tax year.

Besides the $12.5 million sale in July, other recent high-priced mansion sales on the lakefront in Winnetka have included an unidentified buyer paying $11.25 million in July 2022 for a recently built lakefront mansion in Winnetka, and another unidentified buyer paying $12.75 million in August 2022 for a vintage lakefront mansion on Sheridan Road and then obtaining a demolition permit.

Bob Goldsborough is a freelance reporter.

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Read More: Winnetka mansion once owned by W. Clement Stone sells for $12M

2023-08-31 20:45:00

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