My first time in a Harrie T. Lindeberg house was in 2014, during the final days of August, on my first day as a Sarah Lawrence graduate student; the home, now called Slonim House, features wide plank floors, leaded glass windows, polychromed doors, sunporches, and a former service wing transformed into graduate student housing, all encased under organically luxuriant ornate plasterwork, fieldstone walls, half-timbered walls, and a steep, shingled roof, a scene very much similar to 55 North Mayflower Road, a home located in Lake Forest, Illinois. The living room, a vaulted space with thick walls, radiators concealed behind carved wood, a sagging marble fireplace, a well-worn, well-loved Persian rug, and no air-conditioning to combat the New York humidity. This dark, dull home seemed, at first glance, to be a punishment, a confinement, a stifling place where even with the windows wide open, not even the faintest of breezes could be tempted to enter. Yet it was in this space, a space where writers of every sort gathered and shared and learned that I came out, to borrow from Brian Morton, as a writer, and it was all under the roof of a masterfully designed Harrie T. Lindeberg home. While this was in Bronxville, New York, not Lake Forest, Illinois, the magical, dreamlike qualities of a Harrie T. Lindeberg house transcends time and place—they occupy a special space in the design world, no, the whole world, with their immensely grounded features and decorations.
The entry to 55 North Mayflower Road, located at the center of a Y shaped floor plan that can be found below, is sheathed in a brick exterior and, once inside the entry hall, smooth plaster. Once inside the ornate, leaded front door, following the passage to the left leads to the impressive reception rooms, while a door to the right leads to the impressively arrayed service areas necessary to run a house such as this, and no doubt of size equal to that of the home’s cousin in Westchester County, NY.
The stately interiors of this home reveal that new light, bright windows have been installed throughout so as to take in as much of the natural light as possible, a design choice which somewhat negates the moody interiors the home originally incorporated. Yet, all the paneling, carvings, and fireplaces retain their original heavy charms.
Upstairs, the bedrooms and bathrooms feature anonymous luxuries like canopied beds, tufted lounge chairs, and thick floral carpets.
The siting of this home reveals its deeply personal interplay with the outside world; lawns, forests, and blue, blue Lake Michigan unfold before you as you look out from bay windows, rooms coated in brick or half-timber, or third floor rooms right up under the eaves.
The original 1916 floor plan of the house, originally built for Clyde M. Carr Esq., features playful angles, plentiful bedrooms, and a multitude of spaces where the indoors and out comingle.
55 North Mayflower Road is currently listed by Houda Chedid of Coldwell Banker Residential for $15,000,000 even. The home encompasses 8 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms within 13,353 square feet on 8.94 Lake-Michigan-view acres.
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