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Historic lakefront mansion in Winnetka sells for $10M, could face demolition

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The new owners of the 1905 structure have applied for permits to tear it down

Photos by Matt Mansueto

After changing hands for a cool $10 million, a stately Colonial style mansion on Chicago’s North Shore may—or may not—meet the wrecking ball. Despite filing paperwork with the Village of Winnetka to demolish the 20-room Joseph Llewellyn-designed home in November, the property’s new owners, identified by Crain’s as Philip and Janice Beck, reportedly haven’t decided if their plans to modernize the property will involve knocking it down.

The seven-bedroom Sheridan Road mansion was built in 1905 for Frank Magie, founder of Chicago’s Magie Brothers Oil Company. Although architecturally impressive, the 113-year-old structure arguably takes a backseat to its sprawling, nearly three-acre grounds. Overlooking Lake Michigan, the hugely-desirable property includes a separate carriage house, a bluff-side swimming pool with twin pool houses, and a 170-foot-wide private beach.

Bordered on one side by an un-developable public park, the pricey estate first listed in mid 2016 for $15.9 million. The asking price was reduced to $12.9 million by late last year before it ultimately sold to the Becks for $10 million. The sale represented the second Chicago-area home to recently fetch eight digits. Last month, Ann Lurie unloaded her Gold Coast mansion to Chicago’s Latin School for $12 million.