Thursday, March 21, 2013

After "Melody"

Armour and Company, 1918
  Ogden Armour's wealth came from his role as the head of the multi-million dollar meatpacking business Armour and Company, which he took over in 1901 on the death of its founder, his father, Philip D. Armour. He inherited a fortune but also took the company to new financial heights by investing in railroads, elevators, refrigerators, and street railways. He became the second wealthiest American, after RockefellerThe bubble burst in the early 1920s, however, and after losing more than $150 million in an economic downturn, Armour suddenly died in 1927. 
295 Vine Avenue Lake Forest,IL
  Debts forced his widow to sell "Melody Farm" the following year to a consortium of rich Chicago men who bought it with the intention of turning it in to a country club. She moved to a  modest nine-room house on 20 acres of land that she had retained from the sale. 
View from the front lawn.
  Renewed wealth allowed Lolita to move into a David Adler  designed estate that was built in 1934.  She regained much of her fortune after 1930 with the sale of J. Ogden’s investment in Universal Oil Products(initially thought to be worthless).

Closeup-Exterior front 

View from the garden side.
  Click HERE to see the estate in a 1939 aerialBING.

Closeup-Exterior garden side

Stair Hall

Closeup - Stair Hall

Living Room

Closeup - Living Room

Dining Room

Closeup - Dining Room

Garden Pavilion 

Closeup - Garden Pavilion 

View from outside the gate

Closeup - View from outside the gate

Current View 

View from inside the gate

Closeup - View from inside the gate

Decoration Over Door

Closeup - Decoration Over Door

Detail of Decoration Over Door

Closeup - Detail of Decoration Over Door

Coach House

  The converted Coach House is currently listed for $2.295 million(down from $2.8 two years ago). 

  Mrs. Armour died on February 6, 1953 at the age of 83. She had been ill for a some time and died at her home. She is buried at Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

  Click HERE for a post about "Melody Farm" and HERE for a post on its gardens.

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