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The best David Adler houses on the market right now

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Welcome back to Period Dramas, a weekly column that alternates between rounding up historic homes on the market and answering questions we’ve always had about older structures.

With a career that spanned the first half of the 20th century, David Adler made a name for himself as an architect to Chicago high society.

Largely influenced by the architecture of France and England, Adler’s spaces, while luxurious, were often marked by a sense of restraint. By the peak of his career, in the 1920s, the Gilded Age was over. The rich shifted their lifestyles away away from the rigid formality represented by Newport mansions and toward more simplified dwellings, like the ones Mott Schmidt was designing in and around New York City.

But make no mistake: Adler’s grand houses were still built to impress. The lines of Adler’s rooms and the types of decoration used, however, tended to be more refined, pulled back, and pared down.

What Adler may be most well-known for is how well his rooms flowed from one to the next. His grandest houses generally had only a few rooms per floor, each of which was interconnected and usually opened onto a generous central hall.

While some of his houses have been transformed into businesses, like Castle Hill in Massachusetts, many of his designs still exist as private residences. Here are our favorites on the market right now.

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1. 275 Sussex Lane ($7.9 million)

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275 Sussex Ln
Lake Forest, IL 60045

Completed in 1913, this Lake Forest mansion spans nearly 14,000 square feet. The house has influences from both French and Italian design and, while the interiors have received some updates, many original details remain, most notably the house’s floorplan.

The first floor has just five main rooms, including the kitchen. The rooms are arranged off an incredibly generous gallery hallway, and, as you can imagine, each room is quite large: The living room alone is over 40 feet long.

2. 461 Green Bay Road ($1.725 million)

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461 Green Bay Rd
Lake Forest, IL 60045

Also built around 1913, this 7-bedroom home exemplifies Adler’s knack for designing gracious, streamlined residences.

The facade is minimally ornamented, with just a single band of molding following the roofline and surrounding the door. The interiors follow suit, and feature simple archways, delicate neoclassical wall moldings, and restrained crown moldings.

3. 700 Arbor Drive ($10.735 million)

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700 Arbor Dr
Lake Bluff, IL 60044

At a whopping 29,000 square feet, this Lake Bluff home is the largest—and most expensive—Adler home on the market.

The 1931-built home takes cues from Georgian architecture, and features a multi-part entrance with a circular rotunda (pictured) and large hall that terminates in a sweeping staircase.

4. 395 Green Bay Road ($7.5 million)

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395 Green Bay Rd
Lake Forest, IL 60045

We have a little confession to make: This house wasn’t originally built by Adler. It was the work of prolific architect Harrie T. Lindeberg, but it was remodeled in 1928 by Adler.

While the house has been modernized since the ’20s (read: There’s a new kitchen), the house retains many details that show the mark of Adler, like the refined moldings in the living room, paired down examples of Georgian design.

5. 1421 Lake Road ($4.950 million)

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1421 Lake Rd
Lake Forest, IL 60045

Directly on Lake Michigan, this 7,600-square-foot house features a stone entryway, bent-wood staircase, and enough fireplaces to keep you warm throughout bitterly cold winters.

The sunroom (pictured) is especially impressive, with walls that practically dissolve into full-height windows and French doors, which lead out to 200 feet of sandy beach.

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1. 275 Sussex Lane ($7.9 million)

275 Sussex Ln, Lake Forest, IL 60045

Completed in 1913, this Lake Forest mansion spans nearly 14,000 square feet. The house has influences from both French and Italian design and, while the interiors have received some updates, many original details remain, most notably the house’s floorplan.

The first floor has just five main rooms, including the kitchen. The rooms are arranged off an incredibly generous gallery hallway, and, as you can imagine, each room is quite large: The living room alone is over 40 feet long.

275 Sussex Ln
Lake Forest, IL 60045

2. 461 Green Bay Road ($1.725 million)

461 Green Bay Rd, Lake Forest, IL 60045

Also built around 1913, this 7-bedroom home exemplifies Adler’s knack for designing gracious, streamlined residences.

The facade is minimally ornamented, with just a single band of molding following the roofline and surrounding the door. The interiors follow suit, and feature simple archways, delicate neoclassical wall moldings, and restrained crown moldings.

461 Green Bay Rd
Lake Forest, IL 60045

3. 700 Arbor Drive ($10.735 million)

700 Arbor Dr, Lake Bluff, IL 60044

At a whopping 29,000 square feet, this Lake Bluff home is the largest—and most expensive—Adler home on the market.

The 1931-built home takes cues from Georgian architecture, and features a multi-part entrance with a circular rotunda (pictured) and large hall that terminates in a sweeping staircase.

700 Arbor Dr
Lake Bluff, IL 60044

4. 395 Green Bay Road ($7.5 million)

395 Green Bay Rd, Lake Forest, IL 60045

We have a little confession to make: This house wasn’t originally built by Adler. It was the work of prolific architect Harrie T. Lindeberg, but it was remodeled in 1928 by Adler.

While the house has been modernized since the ’20s (read: There’s a new kitchen), the house retains many details that show the mark of Adler, like the refined moldings in the living room, paired down examples of Georgian design.

395 Green Bay Rd
Lake Forest, IL 60045

5. 1421 Lake Road ($4.950 million)

1421 Lake Rd, Lake Forest, IL 60045

Directly on Lake Michigan, this 7,600-square-foot house features a stone entryway, bent-wood staircase, and enough fireplaces to keep you warm throughout bitterly cold winters.

The sunroom (pictured) is especially impressive, with walls that practically dissolve into full-height windows and French doors, which lead out to 200 feet of sandy beach.

1421 Lake Rd
Lake Forest, IL 60045