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Geneva Lake South Shore Club home on market for $8.495 million
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Geneva Lake South Shore Club home on market for $8.495 million


TOWN OF LINN — Class, comfort and 180-degree views of Geneva Lake are just a few of the many things offered by an 8,755-square-foot South Shore Club home on the market.

Located at N1619 E. Lakeside Lane is a home with six bedrooms, 11 baths — nine of them full — on sale for just under $8.5 million.

The owners of the home extensively renovated the property, which is located on the site of the former Northwestern Military and Naval Academy.

Northwestern was founded by Col. H. P. Davidson in 1888, in Highland Park, Illinois.

After the school was destroyed in a fire, Northwestern relocated to the south shore of Geneva Lake. The new school was built in 1915.

It was a mostly a prep school for male students, combining military and naval organization with academics. Briefly in the 1970s, several female students were allowed to attend.

Part of the 1978 film “Damien: Omen II” was filmed at Northwestern.

But in 1995, with enrollment in decline, the school closed after it merged with St. John’s Military Academy.

In 2002, work began on the South Shore Club — a private, 40-home subdivision with numerous resort-style amenities on 41 acres of former Northwestern property.

At N1619 E. Lakeside Lane, all the furnishings are included in the sale, since they were specifically designed for the home. The new owners can move in and immediately begin enjoying Geneva Lake.

From the stone and stucco home’s main living areas, the windows allow a panoramic view of Geneva Lake, as if the house is reaching out to embrace the beauty of the deep blue water, the colorful sails drifting by, and the exultation of water skiers skimming over the waves.

From the house, the lawn gently slopes down to meet the water. Mature shade trees shelter the home and create perfect spots for picnics.

The renovation, under the direction of Scott Lowell at Lowell Custom Homes, took 16 months. And while every choice for materials and finishes was high-end, the effect is a classy comfortableness.

On each of the home’s four floors, the neutral palette and soft colors allow the outside to come in and the inside to go out, with décor and artwork providing pops of color. Wide plank floors, cherry on the first floor and oak in the rest of the house, combine durability with easy care. Other flooring in the home includes limestone and ceramic tile.

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When entering from the driveway, a small office lies on the right. Here, the first of the home’s many built-ins are evident. Built-in storage is incorporated into nearly every room, eliminating the need to buy dressers and other pieces of furniture for storage. To the left of the entrance is the main laundry room with two front-loading washers and dryers and a large counter for sorting.

Farther down on the right is the guest bedroom, large enough for a king-sized bed. Like all of the home’s six bedrooms, it has an en suite bath and ample closet space. White shutters provide decoration and privacy in this bedroom and four of the five others.

With showstopper views of Geneva Lake, the kitchen and great room span the lakeside of the house. The kitchen boasts two islands, quartzite countertops, a Sub Zero freezer and side-by-side refrigerators, Wolf double wall ovens, and a Viking eight-burner cooktop. Included in the Plato cabinetry is a lighted bar cabinet. Tucked inside the wall behind the cooktop is hidden spice storage. A round dining room table with seating for 10 occupies the first floor turret that looks over the lake.

The great room’s comfortable sofas and chairs face a gas fireplace with a TV screen built into the limestone. Built-in bookshelves and a display shelf with a stacked stone backdrop make up one wall.

From the great room, French doors lead to the deck that overlooks the lake. The deck is set up with family meals and gatherings in mind. A table for eight provides seating, with a niche precisely sized for a children’s picnic table. Another area accommodates a built-in fire pit with seating for four.

Staircases lead to the home’s other floors, and an elevator means that the home is accessible to all.

The showpiece of the second floor is the master bedroom, which is its own retreat, with a sitting area, a small desk and his and hers master bathrooms. Bridging the desire for an unobstructed lake view with the need for privacy, room-darkening shades descend to cover the windows at the touch of a button when it is time for sleep.

The second floor’s sweetest room is the nursery. A trundle bed is tucked under a small window in its own niche, an ideal arrangement for whispering late into the night during sleepovers. A white crib accommodates the smallest resident or visitor.

Work and play combine on the home’s top floor. His and hers desks face each other in the third-floor turret. A seating area or lounge provides a respite with four comfortable chairs around a circular glass coffee table, next to a gas fireplace on one wall and a large-screen TV on another. On the other side of the third floor is a spacious children’s playroom area.

The home’s lower level features a soundproof 12-seat home theater. When the door to the theater is closed, no noise disturbs anyone in the adjacent family room. The ample wine cellar is located on this level, as is another mudroom/laundry room/bath for those coming in from the lake.

The property comes with a carefree lifestyle. At South Shore Club, a yearly fee covers landscaping and snowplowing, as well as all the club’s activities available — nature trails, a swimming pool, a chip-and-putt golf area, tennis, pickleball, basketball, volleyball, bocce, shuffleboard, billiards and ping pong.

Ten luxury boats are available for use by the owners of the club’s 40 architecturally distinctive homes. They arrive at the homes’ piers clean and fueled. Club staff members handle the clean-up and storage after a day on the lake. Wave runners, kayaks and paddle boards are also available for homeowners’ use.

There is also a 5,000-square-foot terraced clubhouse, which features the terrazzo marker and community flag pole of the old Northwestern Academy. The clubhouse and barbecue and campfire pit can be reserved for large gatherings.

Lake houses are set up for the living to happen within view of the water. The home at N1619 E. Lakeside Lane, with its nearly new designer palette of whites, grays and beiges, is designed to be the backdrop for the vibrant life of family and friends that flow in and out of such a property, growing in their closeness to one another and their relationship with Geneva Lake.

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