Luxury homes offer a return to the glory days on the scenic estate that inspired Fitzgerald’s famous novel.
Sales have begun at Westleigh Farm, a community of 34 luxury single-family homes on the grounds of the historic King Country Estate in Lake Forest, Ill. Built in 1905 as a summer home for the King family, the estate was frequented by F. Scott Fitzgerald in his teenage years while he was romantically involved with Ginevra King, his inspiration for The Great Gatsby character Daisy Buchanan.
Offered by Winnetka, Ill.-based North Shore Builders, Westleigh Farm encompasses 47 acres of gardens, woodlands, ponds, and walking paths. The Woods neighborhood, located on the southern edge of the plan, includes the original King mansion and seven custom home sites in a densely wooded area.
The Meadow neighborhood occupies the northern portion of the plan, and includes 26 ranch homes surrounding a central lawn. Priced from $1.1 million, the plans range from 3,523 to 4,500 square feet with three to five bedrooms, 2 ½ to 3 ½ baths, and two- to three-car garages. Luxury features include 9-foot ceilings and hardwood flooring on the main level, a 42-inch fireplace, granite countertops, custom Amish-made cabinetry, Viking appliances, and Kohler bathroom fixtures and tubs. Buyers have the options of fully finished lower levels, additional bedrooms, side-load garages, covered decks, butler’s pantries, full sunrooms, and more.
Accessibility features include wide hallways and doors, zero-step showers with a seat in the master bath, and sensor lighting in closets, laundry rooms, and pantries. Buyers with mobility issues can add an elevator and lowered foundation for a no-step entrance to their home.
The ranch homes sit on .25-acre sites that include landscaping and snow removal, perfect for lock-and-leave owners who may travel often or have winter homes, according to North Shore Builders founder and CEO Bill Ryan. The estate’s original staff quarters lodge located in The Meadow has been repurposed as a community gathering space with outdoor dining and a lawn overlooking a large pond. North Shore Builders also converted the original stable into a community entryway and maintenance facility.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for buyers to live in one of the most coveted and preserved areas in the North Shore – to enjoy the same scenic and tranquil qualities that drew the original owners here more than a century ago and captivated the imagination and heart of one of our country’s greatest writers,” Ryan says.
By: Kathleen Brown