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Lake Michigan’s Legendary Mayo Estate

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The Mayo Estate — one of the most architecturally and historically significant residences in the U.S. — is a legend presiding on just over one acre of land, mere steps from Lake Michigan. Built in 1928 as the Felix Lowy House, the majestic Tudor-style manse stands as one of Winnetka’s prized residential landmarks.

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Set behind wrought iron gates, a grand circular driveway guides you to the tranquil reflecting pool and fountain introducing the front entrance. Front terraces flanking the entrance inspire visions of pleasant summer evenings enjoying the lake breezes. Step inside the front door, and the grand foyer welcomes you inside where two-story-high leaded glass bay windows with built-in window seats set the stage for a life of old-world grandeur. The sense of symmetry throughout the interior and exterior of this home echoes the Mayo influence of the day. A massive wood-burning fireplace with a spectacular concrete mantle stands majestically opposite the front door in the grand foyer. The decorative, meticulously painted plaster cast ceiling is truly something to behold.

On the main level, there is a library, a powder room, a large and inviting formal living room with a wood-burning fireplace and dramatic concrete mantle along the East wall, a sunroom and an enclosed heated porch with a freestanding wood burning stove. The generously sized dining room opens to the breakfast room and kitchen on one side, while a cozy family room  resides on the other side. The large, open kitchen boasts walnut cabinetry, high-end stainless-steel appliances, granite counters, and two sink areas. Architectural details abound throughout the entire interior and exterior of this special property. Hardwood floors, original leaded glass windows and doors, majestic mantels, arched doorways, decorative stucco ceilings, picture frame moldings, ceramic tile floors, to name just a few of the well-preserved details throughout the house.

An expansive and finished basement has space for everyone, including a large rec room with a built-in bar, a home gym area with a full bath, walk-in safe room, huge laundry room with two sets of washer/dryers.

Two staircases take you up to the second floor, where five bedrooms await, including the primary bedroom suite. Four of the bedrooms have ensuite bathrooms, all with marble flooring and wall tiles. The third floor has a fabulous ballroom and a magnificent space with the original maple floor — perfect for a playroom, home office, rec room, or studio space.

The spectacular grounds have been imagined as a magical entertainer’s paradise with an in-ground swimming pool built-in 2008 and a separate pool house, complete with two full baths/dressing rooms/showers. The attached two-car garage provides convenient access into the house with plenty of additional space to park multiple vehicles.

To have the opportunity to have such a magnificent home filled with so much architectural integrity and historical significance in a prime East Winnetka location is exceedingly rare — deserving of its status as a true gem.

View the complete listing by John Debaz and Barbara Kramer of Coldwell Banker Realty in Evanston.

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