Oscar Mayer Mansion in Illinois Is Reborn

A hole in the roof and covered in vines, the century-old abandoned Oscar Mayer mansion would make most would-be homeowners run as fast as they could. However, when entering the Evanston, Illinois, property with his business partner, real estate attorney Scott Hargadon had an entirely different response.

The son of the meat processing company’s founder bought the home in 1927, although it had seen better days.

When Hargadon first viewed the house in 2015, he said, “This house had less curb appeal than anything I had ever seen.” Inside, though, he was astounded to find that the original hardwood flooring, ornate light fixtures, and woodwork were all still there. “A house that was literally frozen in time,” was what it was. Nobody has made subpar changes that we would have to undo,” he claims.

Rehabbing the Oscar Mayer mansion

In June 2015, Hargadon and his business associate, a rehabber, purchased the 7,401-square-foot house and immediately set to work renovating it. In May, they listed the house for $2.95 million, describing it as a six-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom residence.

According to Hargadon, “this house as presented will essentially be a brand-new 2016 house inside the shell of a 1901 house.” August is when the renovations are expected to be finished.

The roof, electrical system, and plumbing of the house have all been fully updated and renovated. There was also air conditioning added. With permission from the local government, a 1915 extension that was causing damage to the house’s foundation was demolished (the house is located in a city historic area within a few blocks from Lake Michigan). The windows with art glass were restored and the foundation was renovated. To provide more garden space, a driveway on the side of the home is being demolished.

What had been numerous smaller rooms were reconfigured to become a second-floor master bedroom. The suite opens to a private terrace and now has a dressing room. The first level was designed as a chef’s kitchen, complete with high-end Bosch, La Cornue, and Sub-Zero appliances. Located in the striking turret section of the house is a music room on the first level.

The second level of the house currently features four bedrooms. The third level features the renovated original ballroom and billiard room as well as a library, two bedrooms and a bathroom.

According to selling agent Susan Ani, “the architecture of the home makes this a unique offering” for the neighbourhood. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was popular in the Northeast and was referred to as the Chateau style, or Chateauesque.

Ani remembers that the house was initially constructed for a local industrialist but was later purchased in 1927 by Oscar G. Mayer, the son of the founder of the meat processing firm that carried his name. The Mayer family owned the house until 1967.

Mayer’s renovated estate would probably make him feel perfectly at home.

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