By Bob Goldsborough
July 20, 2016
A historic eight-bedroom mansion in Lakeview East that is used by a Serbian cultural organization as a museum was listed last week for $3.85 million.
A historic eight-bedroom mansion in Lakeview East that is used by a Serbian cultural organization as a museum is on the market for $3.85 million.
Designed by noted architect Frederick Wainwright Perkins and built in 1905, the 11,403-square-foot Foursquare-style mansion at 448 W. Barry Ave. has been owned and operated by the Serbian American Museum St. Sava since 1952. In recent years, however, the city has cited the group for deficiencies, and the repairs would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, estimated listing agent Vesna Noble, who also is the nonprofit group's board secretary.
"We don't have that kind of money," Noble said.
Noble also said the museum's location increasingly has become inconvenient for a large number of Serbian-Americans, many of whom now live in the suburbs and drive to the museum. Parking in the neighborhood is hard to come by, and the museum board hopes to sell the museum and move to a location that is closer to an expressway and has "ample parking," Noble said.
Noble said the organization's membership has dwindled to just 64 members.
Features in the mansion include 5-1/2 baths, 12-foot ceilings, a theater and a full basement. The 0.3-acre property also has a coach house that needs a significant amount of work.
Noble, who said she is working pro bono as the property's listing agent, said the group already has received offers from builders interested in razing the mansion and erecting multifamily housing on the site.
"We're hoping to find a buyer who's not going to be a builder," she said. "We're not going to respond to those (builder offers) yet. We want to find a buyer who's going to preserve it. We'd love to see it saved and not torn down and replaced by condominiums as so many other properties are in the area."
The house is being sold as-is.
"I think the property is priced fair," Noble said. "It's just financially not feasible for us to remain in that location."
Bob Goldsborough is a freelance reporter.
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