An occasionally updated chronicle of estate sales in the city and suburbs of Chicago.

"It's such a guilty pleasure..." Lynne Stiefel, Pioneer Press

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Winnetka Palace

It's too bad the following photos turned out so blurry, because this was one of the grandest houses I'd ever seen outside the pages of a magazine. Sometimes the camera on my phone just isn't as reliable as I'd like. Especially in low light.

The place was gigantic, recently built, and strangely empty. This is just one corner of the wood-paneled library. The dining room off to the left was enormous, and must have seated at least twenty judging by the number of chairs still lined up against its dark-green walls. I took a picture, but it didn't turn out.

This is a large, lodge-like den with twenty-foot ceilings. That's an antler chandelier above. Behind me was an immense fieldstone fireplace that climbed all the way up the wall, with a moosehead hanging from it. I took a picture but it also didn't turn out. I bet this was a nice room to be in when it was snowing.

Here's one side of a kitchen/great room combo, with French doors leading out to a pool behind me. This was one of two kitchens. Just outside that doorway to the right was a second, smaller service kitchen for the dining room.

Most estate sales are held after someone passes away. But sometimes you get the impression something else happened. This sale was one of those, and it smelled like financial ruin to me. Winnetka is one of Chicago's wealthiest suburbs, but there are a lot of homes for sale up there these days.

Another clue that hinted at scandal of some sort: all the trees had been recently TP'ed. It didn't seem coincidental.

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