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Landmarked Lake Shore Drive mansion gets a $2.75 million price cut - to $13 million

For most homeowners, $2.75 million is a price tag that's out of reach when it comes to buying a house.

For the International College of Surgeons, $2.75 million represents a mere price cut — and just the latest one at that — for the college's 10-bedroom, 12,000-square-foot French chateau-inspired mansion at 1516 N. Lake Shore Drive.

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On Tuesday, the group chopped the asking price of the historic mansion from $15.75 million to $13 million. That $2.75 million price cut represents a 17 percent decline in one fell swoop, and it's $4 million less than the $17 million that the group first sought for the mansion when it placed it up on the market in September.

"The price was adjusted to align the property with what's happening in the market," listing agent Crystal Tran of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff told Elite Street.

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Built in 1916 for Edward T. and Ruby McCormick Blair and designed by the McKim, Mead & White firm, the four-story mansion has millwork, marble staircases, stained glass windows, stone walls, wood paneling, herringbone-laid hardwood floors, an elevator and a two-story, 2,400-square-foot coach house.

"It's obviously an incredibly unique asset, being one of only seven mansions on Lake Shore Drive," Tran said.

The U.S. chapter of the International College of Surgeons bought the mansion in 1947 for $85,000 from Joel Goldblatt, the president of Goldblatt Brothers. The college also owns an adjoining house at 1524 N. Lake Shore Drive that it does not have on the market.

A five-bedroom, 10,400-square-foot Richardsonian Romanesque-style mansion near Lincoln Park will formally come on the market Wednesday for $8.875 million.

For more than a quarter century, the college has considered doing something with its Lake Shore Drive properties. In 1989, the city declared the mansion and the house next door landmarks. Undeterred, the college in 1991 proposed razing the mansions' coach houses and the backs of each home and erecting 41-story condominium towers behind each one. After the city denied the college's proposal, the college sued, and the city ultimately prevailed in a lengthy battle that made its way to a federal appeals court.

Even with the price cut, the college's house effectively is the highest-priced currently standing house available within Chicago's city limits. A proposed custom-built six-bedroom mansion on North Orchard Street in Lincoln Park is available for $15.5 million, but that price is simply a suggested value, and no mansion yet has been built on that 100-foot-wide site.

Bob Goldsborough is a freelance reporter.



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