LAKE FOREST, IL — The Louis F. Swift House in Lake Forest sold for $2.25 million earlier this month — less than half of the historic estate’s previous inflation-adjusted sales price.
The seven-bedroom mansion was designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw for the heir to the Swift meatpacking fortune in 1916. The 10,000-square-foot brick and stone structure was originally built as an expansion that doubled the size of Swift’s existing 1898 mansion.
After Swift’s death in 1937, his 35-room estate remained empty for years. During World War II, it was used by the Navy to house 15 families of officers stationed at Great Lakes Naval Station. The original, wooden half of the mansion was demolished in the late 1940s.
More than six decades ago, the property was purchased by Halbert Gillette, the second-generation CEO of Scranton Gillette Communications and a former Lake Forest alderman. The standalone Shaw-designed wing was converted