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Statewide Endangered

2012 Ten Most Endangered Historic Places 












Blair House

925 N. Sheridan Rd., Lake Bluff
(Lake County)



A Lake Bluff landmark nomination was recommended by the village’s historic preservation commission to the Village Board and on April 13th, 2015 the Board approved it. However, local landmark designation in Lake Bluff does not ultimately protect the house, as it is only honorific. It will allow the village to impose a 120-day demolition delay, but in the meantime a preservation-minded owner is needed. A petition has been created by locals to continue to advocate for this modern masterpiece.

See the March 23, 2015 first reading proceedings at the Lake Bluff Village Board meeting regarding AN ORDINANCE DESIGNATING THE SITE OF 925 N. SHERIDAN ROAD AS A HISTORIC LANDMARK, however, such a designation will not ultimately protect the property. (Go to: 00:50 of video to view proceedings.)



This Modernist masterpiece was designed by Keck & Keck, a preeminent firm of the era. The Blair House has been widely published, both from the time of its construction in 1955, as well as in numerous books on the work of Keck & Keck and modern architecture. It was forward-thinking in its use of sustainable technologies, such as double-glazing and radiant heat. In 1957 the Architectural Record called it “A Residence of Exceptional Distinction.”

Currently for sale, the house sits on a large lakefront lot. A Lake Bluff landmark nomination has been considered but has not yet been pursued. If the Village did grant local landmark designation it would only be honorific. With no protection in place the Blair House is highly vulnerable to demolition to make way for new construction.

A local landmark designation or listing in the National Register of Historic Places would allow a future owner to utilize the Property Tax Assessment Freeze Program - an incentive for owners to sensitively reinvest in their historic homes. Contemporary houses of the mid-20th-century continue to be threatened throughout Chicago’s North Shore. The Blair House is particularly representative of this important period of design.


What You Can Do


Encourage Lake Bluff officials to grant local landmark designation on the Blair House, which will not protect the property, but will demonstrate that the Village acknowledges its architectural significance. Also encourage officials to strengthen the Village’s historic preservation ordinance.

In an August 4, 2011 letter to the Lake Bluff Historic Preservation Commission, Arthur Miller, archivist of the Donnelley and Lee Library, Lake Forest College, said of the house, “Its elegance, richness of materials, state of preservation, and rich design heritage make it an outstanding feature of Chicago’s upper North Shore. Its key role in…Lake Bluff’s history cannot be disputed.”

If interested in the sales listing for the home, click here: homefinder.com/IL/Lake_Bluff/.


Additional Links


Lake County News-Sun
April 30, 2012

GazeboNews (Lake Bluff)
April 24, 2012

Landmark Nomination not yet pursued.
Click on November 9, 2011 meeting minutes

William Keck (1908-1995)
Chicago Architects: Oral History Project
Ryerson and Burnham Libraries: The Art Institute of Chicago

Architects: Keck & Keck
Chicago Bauhaus & Beyond







Landmarks Illinois
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Suite 2020
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tel. 312-922-1742 
fax 312-922-8112



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