Historic homes to become owner in the Lake Geneva basin | Local news
Every now and then a property is presented to the market that is so well known, so revered, so celebrated, that no superlative description is required. These are the heritage properties that not only occupy the best lots of the best streets and feature the highest quality architecture and finishes, they are the iconic properties that are so respected for both what they are and what they are. ‘they represent. Today, for what is believed to be only the third time in 115 years of history, Glanworth Gardens, the preeminent 40-acre estate on the Midwest’s first lake, is offered for sale. In the early 1900s famed Boston architect Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, was commissioned to design a new lakeside retreat for the Harris family, the founding family of Harris Bank and Trust. The site chosen for this new vacation home was a bucolic, hilly lakefront plot on the north shore, where Snake Road plunged and meandered through rolling countryside just beyond The Newport Of The West, the town of the lake. Leman, Wisconsin. The Olmsted brothers provided the design for the landscaping, filled with ponds and gardens, winding paths and resting perches, all leading visitors through dense native woods to the flat shore. This current chapter in the history of Glanworth Gardens is perhaps the most fascinating. The new owner, motivated by a desire to restore and respect the architectural and natural pedigree of this rare estate, undertook a multi-year renovation that touched almost every room of this vast property. Sometimes more than 100 artisans were working on site at one point, all with the sole objective of returning this property to a condition that reflected its importance. When the pool house was moved to serve as an anchor cottage in what would become the Children’s Village, the thatched roof was built by Irish craftsmen. Such attention to detail may be rare, but it has become the expected norm during this long process of rebuilding. While the initial renovation was completed in just over two years, the owner has never stopped improving and perfecting this most expensive lakefront home. The beautiful gated entrance alone is perhaps the most impressive entrance to this private stretch of iconic lakeside homes. Past these gates, visitors will be delighted with a fun and memorable walk through the woods, glimpsing ponds and manicured lawns, past the Children’s Village and across the official crushed granite playground. Once inside, guests are greeted by the grand staircase and the entrance hall which immediately prove the original intention of this house: entertaining by the lake. Beyond this ornate room you will discover a sunny family room to the west with wide panoramic views of the gardens and reflecting pool, as well as a lakeside library with rich oak paneling flanking the walls and ceiling. The office is quietly tucked away just off the grand hall, giving the owner a tranquil view of the motor court and its fountain. Formal and informal dining rooms adjoin the kitchen, anchored by a La Cornue range and bespoke cabinetry. Thirteen fireplaces dot this floor plan, warming rooms which, despite their large size, still manage to be intimate and comfortable. As you walk up the grand staircase, you’ll enjoy getting a closer look at the thirty-foot Great Hall ceiling with its intricate plasterwork and plumbing. The hallway from the master bedroom heads west, with several sweets for guests and the ultimate master suite with fireplace, walk-in closet and updated full bathroom. The guest wing contains more lakeside bedrooms, most with en-suite bathrooms, bringing the total number of bedrooms in this home to thirteen. Additional property structures include a four bedroom guesthouse, shed, staff offices, boathouse, children’s village and more.