Ann Lurie's Mansion: Chicago's Most Expensive House Ever Listed

Although I can’t be 100% certain, based upon my little bit of research, it sure looks like Ann Lurie’s Mansion at 1547 N Dearborn is the most expensive single family house ever listed in the city of Chicago. On Friday the 12 bedroom/ 12 1/2 bath house was put on the market at $18.75 MM so get your check books ready. I know I’m looking in my sofa cushions for spare change.
Here are the details on the home:

  • Built in 1891
  • Designed by August Fiedler
  • The house is 18,590 sq ft. The asking price is suspiciously close to $1000/ SF but that’s probably just a coincidence.
  • The lot is 144 x 133. The house appears to sit on an 83 x 133 parcel and just north of it is a 61 ft wide parcel that I assume is the garden/ yard. In total this is almost half an acre.
  • 12 bedrooms – 8 of these are two room bedrooms (ensuite)
  • 12 1/2 baths
  • 9 fireplaces
  • 6 garage spaces and 4 exterior parking spaces
  • Property taxes are $134,000/ year. That implies a county determined market value of $8.3 MM. So someone’s property taxes should be going up, Joe Berrios

Here is the description per the MLS:

A meticulously restored, unparalleled, sprawling 1891 mansion, set amidst professionally landscaped gardens. Notable vintage details incl original stained glass & millwork, while elec, plumb, roof, & winds are all new. Chef’s dream kitchen incl Traulsen, Miele, & Wolf appls as well as a wi pantry. An elevator, stair/walkway de-icers, H2O filtration sys & coach hse, parkg for 10 cars are also distinguished amens.

Ann bought the house 20 years ago from a real estate developer named Phil Farley for $5 MM. Check out the photo gallery below.
While there is no question that this is a fabulous home in a really great location, this looks to me like it will be a tough sell and this is the reason I won’t be buying it. First, a high rise building stands due north of the garden parcel so you are really boxed in. Second, you have to really like vintage. Third, you have to really want a lot of space.

Who is Ann Lurie?

Ann’s story is pretty cool. She was a nurse who ended up marrying Robert Lurie, who was Sam Zell’s partner. Robert died in 1990 and she started to give away their money. She donated $100 MM to help start the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago but has apparently given away hundreds of millions of dollars to other causes as well. She is currently 68 years old and also owns a house in Montecito, CA. She is also currently trying to sell a co-op on East Lake Shore drive that she never lived in for just under $6 MM.
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