Normally I don’t cover celebrity homes (there are a lot of other house bloggers out there who do that) but I thought I’d make an exception for this one.
When I heard last April that singer Richard Marx and his long-time wife actor/dancer Cynthia Rhodes were divorcing, I was shocked and intrigued.
Marx is a well-known singer/songwriter (recall that famous 80’s love song Right Here Waiting For You) and Cynthia was an accomplished dancer who starred in movies like Dirty Dancing (she played the tenacious and fabulous Penny).
Although Rhodes was 7 years Marx’s senior and she initially rebuffed him due to the age difference, they seemed like a very happy couple with 3 great kids (now grown men).
The former couple have been tight-lipped about their reasons for separating after 25 years together but the deal was sealed last November when they put their long-time Lake Bluff, Illinois home on the market for $18 million.
The house is spectacular but at the same time, it is almost too perfect.
Stately, formal and so void of any hint that a family with 3 boys lived here comfortably for 17 years.
The listing write-up for the house states:
Set on five exclusive acres of Lake Michigan frontage, this exquisite David Adler home of extraordinary grace and scale has been wonderfully preserved while achieving the modernization expected of todays distinguished estates. Quality European craftsmanship including walnut parquet floors evident throughout this 9 bedroom home with 19 fireplaces, 3 floors, finished basement and attached 8000sf studio. Steps to beach.
No family pictures, no basketball hoops, no trace of any of the former occupants except the massive recording studio that Marx had built off to the side. It just stands now as a museum piece and a sad relic of love gone awry.
Have a look inside to see what I’m talking about…..
The house is a massive 9-bedroom estate on the shores of Lake Michigan, north of Chicago. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places because the original home was designed by famed architect David Adler in 1931.
Opulent and grand, this large country home has a whopping 19 fireplaces and many modern additions including Marx’s 8,000 square foot home recording studio.
Besides the home’s current celebrity homeowners and famous architect designer, it has another claim to fame: the 1977 movie A Wedding with Robert Altman was filmed in this house.
Richard Marx and Cynthia Rhodes left the glitz and glam of Hollywood in 1997 (saying they were too boring for that town) and purchased the Lake Bluff mansion for $4.7 million when their 3 boys were young.
They settled privately into their family home but also welcomed many famous musical guests there due to Marx’s involvement in the recording industry.
No celebrity house is complete without a home theater – where one could watch Dirty Dancing ad nauseam:
Check out the amazing master bathroom:
(A luxurious bathing experience that almost makes up for the brutal northern Illinois winters!)
The house is amazing, but don’t forget about the lake frontage and views over Lake Michigan…
The property was originally part of a 73-acre estate but it got whittled down over the decades to just 5 acres.
I find this last picture rather poignant:
And empty bench overlooking the bleak lake.
The split of Cynthia Rhodes and Richard Marx makes my sentimental heart sad because I am a child of the 80’s. Rhodes & Marx were always upheld as the epitome of a true relationship that survived the Hollywood curse and the test of time.
Nonetheless, I sincerely wish both Richard and Cynthia a successful sale and hopefully, each is settled into a new home where they can experience new beginnings and create new memories.
(And if I were Cynthia, I would have that luxury bath recreated in my new digs!)
*Today’s guest post is by house enthusiast/writer John Miller. House Crazy Sarah is taking a nap this week.
There is something about cozying up next to a stone fireplace in the winter, especially when the mood is intensified by the smell of warm wood, the comfort of thick rugs and a breathtaking vista outside an oversized window that just makes me long for the mountains.
Another time-capsule house! I just can’t get enough of these things.
Number 7 Blyth Grove in Worksop, England was home to grocer Mr. William Straw and his family.
When Mr. Straw died unexpectedly at the age of 68 in 1932, his widow and 2 sons resolved to leave the house exactly as it was on the day he passed.
My friend Canadian artist David Lacey and his wife Heather Stephens like to tackle house projects in their spare time. They are probably laughing boisterously as they read this because they have so many “project” houses, that they have no spare time. David and Heather are also responsible for the X-permit Cabin, The Remodeled School House, and their own home, A Seaside Retreat.
Their latest adventure is 43 Maple Avenue in beautiful Wolfville, Nova Scotia. They bought it as an investment to rent but it needed some work.