From Goldblatt's to Wieboldt's
Chicago's North Shore's great estates were initially close to the lake and served their families as lake-breezed cooled summer homes. If you can believe it, the area around Ravinia Park today was considered the country home location of choice for many prominent Chicagoans. Once reliable rail service was brought north through what would become Chicago's North Shore, Chicagoans could consider living north of the city limits and still be able to commute to Chicago for their work. Year-round North Shore living became more prevalent.
We have discussed two Goldblatt family homes on the lake in Wilmette. Now let's take a short train ride north to Glencoe to see how another Chicago merchant family lived.
Glencoe was the chosen home for the E.F. Wieboldt estate. Coincidently, this home like its Goldblatt counterpart in Wilmette, is also available for purchase today.
In the estate's area photo above, part of the building's left side is an addition to the original structure. I have toured the home and found many many original design details still intact in the older section of the home. It is quite impressive and certainly unlike new construction today.
The retail chain was founded in 1883 by William A Wieboldt. Upon is retirement his sons Elmer and Werner took over the company. The home in Glencoe belonged to Elmer. Elmer primarily focused on his role as Chairman of the Wieboldt Family Foundation which is still in existence today.
Here is a 1943 Chicago Tribune article mentioning Elmer's retirement.
In my last post I showed you how Louis Goldblatt's Wilmette estate if for sale. Located at 15 Linden in Wilmette, Louis' magnificent home was built in 1941. Just a bit north of that home sat the home of his older brother Nathan, 612 N Sheridan Road. Nathan's home was built by noted Chicago architect and developer Benjamin Marshal in 1921 for himself. The home was unconventional as its original owner.
Marshall sold the place in 1936 to department store executive Nathan Goldblatt, including the interior furnishings as we see in this Chicago Tribune article about the sale.
Nathan Goldblatt's family lived in 612 N Sheridan from 1936 to 1948. We can see in this 1948 Chicago Tribune article that the home was still pink and most likely still contained a number of Marshall's distinct furnishings. It is my guess that the home did not sell so the Goldblatt family then offered it to Wilmette and the village shortsightedly turned it down.
The former Goldblatt properties today:
The Goldblatt Estate of Wilmette
The Goldblatt / Wilmette connection is that earlier today the Goldblatt Estate came on the market. Even though I have lived here in Wilmette for nearly 20 years I did not know about this amazing place tucked in the village.
Let's explore this together. From the Encyclopedia of Chicago:
Louis Goldblatt's home is the one in the photos above that is for sale. It can be yours for $10.9M.
There is more to the story of the Goldblatt Family and Wilmette. Nathan Goldblatt (Louis' brother) also lived here. Nathan's home, 612 N Sheridan, was just a bit north of Louis's home. The prominent part of the story though is the previous owner of Nathan's home, Benjamin Marshall. More to come in my next post.....
What's the connection?
Ch, ch, ch, changes.
With my love for architectural history as well as music I found something this morning that wraps the two together nicely.
This morning the home above on the right came on the market for a smidge, ok a big smidge, over one millions dollars. I had posted before about how much I love living in the west Wilmette area with all its groovy mid-century modern homes designed by architect Mort Balaban. I had toured the original home when it went on the market last year. It really was in need of tlc but I could envision it being a cool sort of CB2 meets Dick Van Dyke home sort of place one day soon. To see the original home with its ski slope roof be torn down reminded me though that changes happen all the time.
The new home is just lovely architecturally. It has what today's buyers are looking for. I see this every day as a North Shore realtor. It still made me pause to think what used to be here and missing that original home.
Who am I to lament the loss of this home? Before me most likely there were many people who lamented the change from West Wilmette from a series of small family farms to the suburban land of split levels. The point in time in-which I stand is just someone else's change.
I can tell you exactly where I bought my cassette of David Bowie's ChangesOne. I had heard it up at summer camp one year. I came home and the next day I begged my mom to drive me to Second Hand Tunes in Evanston to buy it. It was when the store was on the north side of Dempster, two doors east of Cafe Express. That cassette, that store and that song made huge impressions on who I am. Even as the architecture around me is changing, I am beyond grateful to have the life I have today. The strength of friends and family never change and is that road that carries us through it all.
Sarah Rothschild, Realtor & Architectural History Nerd.