Although the outside still says “church,” the inside of 539 N Mayflower Road is a fully renovated, Gothic-style home that still shines with Gilded Age charm.
The property was first listed in February for $1,499,000 and made a market encore in early August for $1,399,000.
Set along Lake Michigan’s North Shore in Lake Forest, IL, the three-bedroom home was originally built in 1888 by architect Henry Ives Cobb. It was known as The Ferry Hall Chapel and served the school for “girls and young ladies,” which was founded in 1869 and eventually merged with Lake Forest Academy.
“Cobb was also known for designing the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest, The Newberry Library, and the Chicago Athletic Association,” says listing agent Suzanne Myers. “After Ferry Hall was closed, the building was converted into a private residence in 1980.”
Chicago-based architect Edward Noonan was instrumental in the structure’s renovation from church space to home base. His influence is apparent in the first- and second-floor primary bedroom suites, offices, and updated chef’s kitchen.
The most recent owners purchased the home in 2010 and also made significant improvements. New wood floors, a direct-vent gas fireplace, two water heaters, and repairs to the cedar roof are among the additions and upgrades.
A main-level laundry room and detached, three-car garage round out the slate of amenities.
Despite the updates, many original details — soaring ceilings and arched, leaded-glass windows — keep the building’s storied past alive.
The building has been recognized by the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural significance, Myers says.
Although a free-standing home, the building is part of the Mayflower Park Condominium Association, which collects a monthly $904 HOA fee.
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The buyer will own a unique piece of North Shore history and undoubtedly enjoy its prime location.
“This home is located just one block from Lake Michigan,” Myers says. “It’s a very private setting with beautifully landscaped rose gardens, a bluestone patio with fountain, and ravine views.”