Old Man Marley’s Home for Sale

Property Photo

I remember a while back the home featured in the movie “Home Alone” was sold.  So when I saw this home, pictured above, something about it looked so familiar but at first I couldn’t put my finger on it.  How about you?  Yep, that’s right.  This is the house next door where Old Man Marley lived!  Recently listed in Winnetka for $3.1 million this beautiful home was designed by architect Benjamin Marshall.  His name may not be as familiar as Frank Lloyd Wright or Louis Sullivan but he is responsible for some of Chicago’s iconic buildings including the Drake Hotel and the Blackstone.  He built a home for himself in Wilmette in 1921 that’s main function was to host parties.


His pink stucco 32 room mansion included a tropical garden and an Egyptian solarium.  Unfortunately the home was razed in 1950.  I would love to find more photos of that house!


Beautiful Mansions From the Past

Above is an aerial view of Bellasguardo, the Clark estate in Santa Barbara.

I am reading a book called Empty Mansions which describes the unusual life of copper heiress Huguette Clark and the fantastical homes she owned but didn’t live in.  I remember hearing a bit about Huguette and her estate when she died about 5 years ago at the age of 104.  She had lived for the last 20 years of her life in a hospital, tho not for health reasons.  The homes she owned and had maintained were palatial in size and included paintings by Degas, Rembrandt and others.  They held numerous valuable musical instruments including pianos by Steinway and strings by Stradivarius.  One home, in Santa Barbara, named Bellosguardo will be maintained by a foundation formed to foster and promote the arts.  The “family home” at 962 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan was torn down shortly after the death of Huguette’s father with a co-op being built on the site.  The book is written by Pulitzer Prize author Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr., a relative of Mrs. Clark.  I am finding it really interesting and I thought I’d share a couple of photos from these homes.  I also want to mention that some of the articles I have linked to have information that conflicts with the book I am reading.

<b>BELLOSGUARDO THEN:</b> This family photo, taken in the 1940s, shows the interior of the library, including a portrait of Huguette’s sister Andrée over the fireplace. The furniture has been covered, but otherwise the rooms in the mansion remain as they were 60 years ago.

Above is a photo of the Library at Bellosguardo taken in 1940.

Above is the Fifth Avenue home which was demolished in the 20’s.

Winter Wonderland?

This week I am sharing a listing from London.  Looks are deceiving because, from the exterior shot, you would never guess that this home has seven floors with a swimming pool, steam room, gym, and cinema.  The Master Suite consumes the entire first floor and includes his-and-hers dressing rooms and bathrooms and the home has wonderful outdoor living spaces.  The building was at one time The Red Lion Pub but has been completely gutted and remodeled.  Located on a quiet street in Mayfair it seems to have everything one would need.


Originally published in 2010 in O Magazine, this article titled “10 Life Lessons You Should Unlearn” by Martha Beck gives you something to think about and perhaps inspire your New Year’s resolutions.  I think my favorite is Success is the Opposite of Failure.  As Martha reminds us “success is built on failure.”  My goal will be to not worry about failure but rather to just try and learn from the results.

A blog I have been enjoying recently is Smitten Kitchen.  Deb Perleman inspires as she accomplishes what seems to be the impossible, creating delicious dishes from her very tiny New York apartment.  Not only is her food incredible but her style of writing is entertaining and the photography is beautiful.  Following the publishing of her cookbook a while back I heard an interview with her on NPR.  The interview took place in her tiny kitchen; it was charming.  I hope you will check out her blog.

I hope you all stay warm and safe in the days ahead.  We’ve seen some brutal weather come our way and I know other parts of the country have been affected to an even greater extent.  Here is a satellite photo from the Weather Channel showing the blanket of snow covering part of the Midwest and New England areas.   This is an amazing photo.  I think I’ll go make myself a cup of hot chocolate…..