Historic Lakeview mansion, relic of “Meekerville,” listed at $5M

First time hitting the market since 1930s

Historic Lakefront Chicago Mansion Listed at $5M
Compass' Jeff Lowe with 325 West Wellington Avenue (Lowe Group, Google Maps)

A historic Lakeview mansion is up for grabs for the first time in nearly a century.

The 14,000-square-foot estate at 325 West Wellington Avenue,  intricately tied to three prominent Chicago business dynasties, has hit the market for just shy of $5 million, Crain’s reported. The price comes to roughly $356 per square foot.

The Renaissance Revival-style estate was originally built for Elizabeth Ward, widow of retail magnate Aaron Montgomery Ward, in 1918. Architect Howard Van Doren Shaw designed the four-story residence, accompanied by a two-story coach house and a private walled garden. 

The property later passed through the hands of the Armour meatpacking family before the Pearson family, whose fortune stemmed from the Standard Screw Company, acquired it in the early 1930s. The family of Marguerite DeLany Hark, who died in 2022 and is part of the Pearson family lineage, is the seller, represented by Compass agent Jeff Lowe.

The estate has retained many of its original architectural features. They include a grand brick facade with limestone-framed windows, a stacked staircase and a windowed loggia designed to capture Lake Michigan breezes. Historical features such as the original elevator, vintage telephones, servant call buttons and two large safes also remain intact. 

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Modern updates have been made to utilities, the roof and several bathrooms. The kitchen, however, remains a project for future owners, as its ground-level placement reflects a bygone era of household staff. A kitchen nearer to the main living spaces would be better suited for contemporary living. 

Furthermore, the mansion has 11 bedrooms, seven full bathrooms, multiple sitting rooms, offices and gallery spaces. The coach house includes a three-bedroom loft and two garage spaces. 

The Wellington Avenue mansion is one of the few surviving relics of the historical southeast Lakeview mansion district, once named “Meekerville” after meatpacking executive Arthur Meeker, who built the first stylish mansion there in 1913. The historic homes now coexist with modern residential towers.

—Quinn Donoghue 

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