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Historic Waterfront Mansion to be Demolished

Historic Waterfront Mansion to be Demolished

Historic Waterfront Mansion to be Demolished
December 21
14:21 2012

Historic Waterfront Mansion to be Demolished

1175 Whitebridge Hill Road, Winnetka, Illinois, United States, 60093

The future of this stately mansion on the banks of Lake Michigan in Winnetka is uncertain.  This magnificent home was built as the private residence for Jared Gage, one of Winnetka’s first settlers, in 1857.  The home served as a hospital during the PS Lady Elgin steamship disaster in 1860.  The 2.5 acre estate was listed in May of 2009 for $10.75 million before selling for just $6.5 million in December of 2010.  The original listing description noted, “Historic importance and superb today.”

According to the Chicago Tribune, a demolition permit application was filed with the village, with Michael Durkin listed as the owner.  The home’s previous owner, Ned Jannotta, spoke to the Chicago Tribune saying he had never expected it to be demolished, but that there was no agreement during the sale to prevent it.  “It’s an old house.  It’s more than 150 years old.  But we loved every day in the house,” said Jannotta, who now lives with his wife in a home on an adjacent lot.  “It’d be very sad if it were torn down.

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 How is it that somebody can pay $6.5 million for a home, visibly see how beautiful it is, be aware of the historic significance and still think it’s okay to demolish it.  Winnetka Historical Society Director Patti Van Cleave told the Chicago Tribune that the file on the house is several inches thick, larger than any other home’s file, and speaks to the property’s historical importance.  Even though many of us may be against the demolition of historic homes, there is really nothing that can be done.  If the owners do end up choosing to go ahead with the demolition they will be able to do so.

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