Lake Forest mansion sold for highest price in town since 2018
Rosemary Road sellers Brian and Michelle Flynn put the 5.2-acre estate on the market in March 2021, asking for $10.5 million. Their price did not change until the house entered into contract with the buyers.
The Flynns could not be reached for comment. A phone number listed for them is not responding. Neither their listing agent, Ann Lyon of @properties Christie’s International Real Estate, nor the buyers’ agent, Mona Hellinga of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago, responded to requests for comment. The buyers are not yet identified in the public records.
Aside from Hughes’ $12 million purchase, it’s the only Lake Forest property to fetch over $7 million since at least 2015. It’s also the 40th Chicago-area home for sale. for $5 million or more so far this year, up from 48 in 2021.
The house was originally built in 1888 for a Chicago map publisher, Levi Yaggy, and in the 1910s was remodeled by architect Arthur Heun for newlyweds William Mitchell and Ginevra King Mitchell.
William Mitchell was the son of the president of the Illinois Merchants Trust – which later merged with Continental National Bank – and founded a finance company that would become part of PaineWebber. Ginevra King Mitchell was the daughter of wealthy stockbroker Charles King. She was also the former crush of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the inspiration for Daisy Buchanan’s character in his novel “The Great Gatsby.”
Fitzgerald met King Mitchell at a party in his hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota when they were both teenagers and visited him at his parents’ home in Lake Forest. She gave up the attention she gave to Fitzgerald and married the much wealthier Mitchell, presaging the events of Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel. Fitzgerald also modeled characters in several short stories after her.
“Ginevra was hugely important to her writing,” according to an article in the alumni magazine of Princeton University, Fitzgerald’s alma mater. “He’s based character after character on her throughout his career.”
When William Mitchell and Ginevra King Mitchell divorced in 1939, William kept the mansion and married Anne Wood, the daughter of General Robert Wood, who ran Sears, Roebuck from the late 1920s to the mid-1950s. The Mitchell family owned the house for seven decades, until 1988.
A couple who bought the property in 1995 only used it as a weekend home, their agent told Chicago Magazine when they put it on the market 15 years later. They first put it on the market in 2007, and some time before it was sold in 2011 the pipes burst in the winter and caused damage, but the listing agent said at the time that even before water damage, the whole interior needed to be rehabilitated.
A rehabilitation company purchased the property in 2011 for $2.25 million. After rehab, the Flynns bought the mansion for $5 million in 2013.
All interior photos of the home have been removed from online listings.