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Philanthropist Ann Lurie puts Gold Coast mansion on market for $18.75 million

Updated: June 3, 2013 8:08PM

With 12 bedrooms, nine fireplaces, landscaped gardens, a library, a sunroom and enough wood paneling to trim a large yacht, philanthropist Ann Lurie’s mansion is the closest thing Chicago’s Gold Coast has to compare with Downton Abbey.

But unlike the fictional English estate that forms the backdrop for the hit PBS series, you can buy this home — if you have $18.75 million to spare. That makes it the second-priciest home in the city, behind a $32 million penthouse in the Trump Tower.

Lurie, who gave $100 million to help pay for the new children’s hospital named after her and her late husband, put the Romanesque style three-story structure on the market last week.

The interior of the 1891 structure, pictured in an online listing by Koenig & Strey, is a mix of Victorian and modern. There is original stained glass and hand-carved woodwork. But little of architect August Fiedler’s interior remains on the upper floors, which were cut into up into apartments by the 1940s and later remodeled into large bedroom suites.

Like Downton, the place has plenty of history. It was built on what is now the 1500 block of North Dearborn Parkway by beer baron Jacob Rehm. He sold it after a few years to fellow brewer William Seipp, who wound up shooting himself to death in the home in 1912, according to news reports. The house went to Siepp’s daughter Emma and son-in-law, Dr. Otto Schmidt, a Chicago School Board member who died in 1935.

Developer Phil Farley started restoring the home around 1990, and sold to Lurie nearly 20 years ago. Lurie and Koenig & Strey representatives could not be reached for comment.

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