Francis J. Dewes House selling for $9.9 million

Posted Nov. 9, 2010 at 10:45 a.m.

ELITE STREET | By Bob Goldsborough | The landmarked, 9,768-square-foot Francis J. Dewes mansion in Lincoln Park has hosted weddings and exclusive parties for years. It has now become available for $9.9 million

Developer Fred Latsko took control of the five-bedroom mansion about seven years ago, when he acquired its mortgage and foreclosed on it. Since then, Latsko has completely restored the grandiose German Baroque and French-style mansion, which was finished in 1896 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

Contractors cleaned and restored wood carvings, refurbished and refitted windows, restored painted panels and ceilings, cleaned and repaired mosaic tile floors and cleaned, releaded and reinstalled original stained-glass and art-glass windows.

Latsko also modernized the kitchen and butler’s pantry, upgraded bathrooms, converted the third-floor ballroom into a master suite and added a media room, a billiard room, a wine cellar and guest quarters to the lower level.

Other features include two caryatids on pedestals supporting a second-floor balcony, a Rococo-style drawing room with new silk wall coverings, Murano glass light sconces, Fragonard-inspired transom emblems and a ceiling painting. The house also features a music room with carved oak paneling, a dining room with carved French oak paneling and a coffered ceiling, a central floating staircase with railings made of neo-Rococo gilt iron, a walnut paneled, Gothic-style library with a beamed ceiling and wall coverings of gently embossed leather.

An upper foyer contains a herringbone-patterned wood floor and walls of mirrors reminiscent of the Palace of Versailles’ famous Hall of Mirrors. The kitchen has custom-made Clive Christian cabinetry, crystal chandeliers, a La Cornue range and double ovens, and countertops made of Jerusalem Gold marble and Iroko hardwood from tropical Africa.

Architects Adolph Cudell and Arthur Hercz designed the mansion for Dewes, a local brewer.

Latsko, who declined to comment, also owns Oprah Winfrey’s former farm in Rolling Prairie, Ind.

Mary Bennettof Koenig & Strey is the listing agent.

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One comment:

  1. D Palmer Nov. 9, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Headline writer: the house is “for sale for $9.9M” or “Listed for $9.9M” but it has not ’sold’ for anything as yet.