If you're in the market for a 12,000-square-foot lakeside fixer-upper, consider the home of the International College of Surgeons.
The four-story, 10-bedroom limestone mansion on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive has housed the society's offices for more than 60 years. But it recently went on the market for $17 million, making it the highest-priced home available in the city.
Many features of the original design by prominent New York architecture firm McKim Mead & White are intact, including grand salon-sized formal rooms, elaborate plaster ceilings, carved stone mantelpieces, wood paneling and nine fireplaces. A two-story coach house adds another 2,400 square feet of living space.
But the grand abode does need some work. There are no full bathrooms, just seven powder rooms; the kitchen is still the original small room designed for use by servants; and it needs a new roof.
Built in 1916, the home is the smaller of two neighboring mansions the surgeons' group occupies, and it still has a largely residential layout. The northern building of the pair, which houses the ICS' International Museum of Surgical Science, isn't for sale.
Only five employees now work in the for-sale building, Nick Rebel, executive director of the group's U.S. section, told Crain's Chicago Business. Staffers would move to the other building after the sale, he said.
In the early 1950s, Chicago surgeon Max Thorek, a founder of the Geneva-based surgeons' society, bought the mansions to serve as its headquarters and museum, Rebel said.The pair were declared city landmarks in 1989, so a new owner likely could not demolish the mansion. Their landmark status helped quash a deal in the 1990s to sell the two mansions and preserve their facades as part of a condo tower.
Selling has been a likelihood ever since, Rebel said. The society comprises two linked but independent entities, the International College of Surgeons and its U.S. section. At various times, one or the other wasn't ready to sell, Rebel said. “Now we're both ready.”