Foxford Group Announces New Pricing and Plans for Historic Lansdowne Estate in Lake Bluff, IL

December 19, 2013

Hinsdale, Ill.-based Foxford Communities has announced new pricing and plans for the historic Lansdowne lakefront mansion in Lake Bluff, Ill., designed by famed Chicago architect Benjamin Marshall and built in 1911 for the Harry Clow family.

The 10-bedroom, 14,845-square-foot home, which sits on 3.9 acres and overlooks Lake Michigan, now includes its own private beach in its listing price of $5.49 million. The private beach includes more than 160 feet of Lake Michigan frontage.

Prior to Foxford purchasing the 21-acre Lansdowne estate earlier this year, the property did not have rights to the beach. “Even without the beach, this is a breathtaking home and property,” said Peter Brennan, CEO of Foxford.

“But we saw tremendous value in purchasing the beach and including it in the price of the mansion without changing the price of the home, and think buyers will agree. We are also working on getting approval to expand the depth of the beach to accommodate a path down to the beach for easy access.”

The Lansdowne mansion, a three-story Georgian, has undergone significant interior renovations in the last few years courtesy of North Shore luxury builder Orren Pickell.

Pickell preserved the home’s original character while also incorporating the most desired modern technology, including a new gourmet eat-in kitchen and updated bathrooms and closets.

In fact, the master suite now includes its own walk-in shoe closet, as well as a separate18 by 20 foot wardrobe room.

In all, the home boasts 24 rooms including 10 bedrooms, nine full baths and two half baths, a sunroom, exercise room, grand foyer with a double staircase, three fireplaces, 12-foot ceilings, a wine cellar, a finished basement with sauna and whirlpool, and floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning views of Lake Michigan and the entire estate.

“What’s so special and rare about this property is that the home and grounds are as equally magnificent as the views. Everything truly complements each other, which is a testament to the home’s architect, Benjamin Marshall, and its original landscaper, Jens Jensen, two of Chicago’s most significant design names,” said Brennan.

“And even though the home is more than 100 years old, it has the open floor plan, room sizes, bonus spaces and traffic flow that resonate with today’s buyers.”

But the mansion isn’t the only option buyers have to purchase a home at the historic Lansdowne estate.

The 21-acre estate has been divided into seven lots, one of which includes the Lansdowne mansion.

Foxford Communities is continuing with the plan for an exclusive enclave of luxury homes on the property.

To date, Foxford has sold two lots, with one of those lots already under construction. Foxford plans to start construction on a third lot for a speculative home in early 2014.

Lansdowne lot sizes vary from 1.5 to 3.1 acres with prices ranging from $979,000 to $3.7 million.

Opportunity to combine lots is available. “Right now, the lot next to the mansion has a sunken bronze pool and pool house,” said Brennan.

“If a buyer chooses to purchase the mansion and the adjacent lot then they have the option of keeping the pool. Additionally, the buyer would have rights to the entire beach (370 feet of Lake Michigan frontage) making it an incredible investment.

“Or, buyers could purchase the lot adjacent to the house and build their own custom home with access to their own private beach.”

According to Brennan, the Lansdowne estate represents one of the only developments of its kind on the North Shore.

“By offering buyers the option of purchasing the Lansdowne mansion, one of the other lots on the grounds, or combining a number of lots, we’re giving them a rare opportunity to live not just on a piece of history, but in one of the most beautiful and peaceful settings in the North Shore,” said Brennan.

Rich in history, the Lansdowne estate was the site of the first polo match in the Midwest where General George Patton was said to have played.

Additionally, movies such as “Chain Reaction” and “Kissing a Fool” were filmed on the property. With Lake Michigan to the east, and a private drive to the west, the estate is also bordered by a wooded ravine to the north and a thicket of trees to the south, providing optimum privacy.

Sales for Lansdowne are being arranged by Jeff Ohm of Premier Realty Group. To schedule a tour of the Lansdowne mansion or visit the estate’s available home sites, contact Ohm at 847-821-9090 or

To view the listing of the Lansdowne mansion, visit

The Foxford Communities has developed a number of properties in the Chicago area. Most recently, the firm re-imagined Van Buren Lofts, a rehabbed condominium loft building at 1224 W. Van Buren in Chicago’s West Loop, which was once home to a paper mill.