Lester Armour House

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Lester Armour House
Lester Armour House.JPG
Lester Armour House in 2014
Lester Armour House is located in Illinois
Lester Armour House
Lester Armour House is located in the US
Lester Armour House
Location Sheridan Rd., Lake Bluff, Illinois
Coordinates 42°17′34″N 87°50′4″W / 42.29278°N 87.83444°W / 42.29278; -87.83444Coordinates: 42°17′34″N 87°50′4″W / 42.29278°N 87.83444°W / 42.29278; -87.83444
Area 5 acres (2.0 ha)
Built 1931 (1931)
Architectural style Eclectic mix-18th-century American
NRHP reference # 84001131[1]
Added to NRHP May 3, 1984

The Lester Armour House is a historic mansion in Lake Bluff, Illinois, United States. It was designed by David Adler in 1931 and is considered one of his most pure works as well as one of his largest.


Lester Armour was the son of Philip Danforth Armour, Jr., thus the son of meatpacking magnate Philip Danforth Armour, Sr. Lester Armour was born in 1895 and attended Yale University before joining Armour and Company, the family business. He married Leola Stanton in 1918; they had five children. In the early 1920s, he left the company to go into banking. He became president of the Chicago National Bank and was chairman of the board of Harris Bank. Armour later married Alexandra Galitzine, a Russian princess who was previously married to Prince Rostislav Alexandrovich of Russia.[2]

Architect David Adler was a friend of Leola Armour. She probably recommended that Lester commission Adler to design the house. Adler designed the house in 1931 and the Armours approved the plans with no requested changes. As a result, the house is almost exactly as Adler intended it, making it one of his purest houses. The style of the house was probably inspired from Adler's recent trip with Evelyn Marshall Field along the James and Potomac Rivers. The resulting Armour house exhibits influence from the Colonial and Federal styles, consistent with early Virginia architecture. The Armour house was one of the few that Adler designed in cooperation with his sister, interior designer Frances Adler Elkins.[2]

Lester Armour continued to live in the house following the divorce from Leola; Alexandra Galitzine moved in in 1949. Lester Armour died in 1970. Alexandra continued to live in the house until 1977. That year, she rented the house out to Lion's Gate Films, Inc. to film the Robert Altman movie A Wedding, starring Desi Arnaz, Jr., Carol Burnett, and Mia Farrow. After filming, the estate, originally 73 acres (30 ha), was subdivided into fifteen lots of approximately 5 acres (2.0 ha). On May 3, 1984, the house was recognized by the National Park Service with a listing on the National Register of Historic Places.[2]

Singer Richard Marx bought the house in 1997 for $4.7 million, and listed it for sale in 2014 for $18 million.[3]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c Susan Karr (January 12, 1984). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Lester Armour House" (PDF). State of Illinois. Retrieved July 17, 2016. 
  3. ^ Christie, Joel (21 November 2014). "Singer Richard Marx lists historic Chicago waterfront for sale at record $18M as he finalizes divorce from wife of 25 years". Mail Online. Retrieved 24 November 2014.  With 20 photographs