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This historic villa has been a Long Beach icon to several generations of Long Beach residents for over 93 years. Built in 1920 by a "connected" Cook County Commisioner and Cicero politician, it has a well known and storied local history. The villa has housed several Illinois politicians as well as their many Chicago gangland friends. If only walls could talk!
The villa sits on a hill in historic little Long Beach at stop 20 (years ago there was a bus that ran along Lake Shore Drive, hence the different 'stops' for the old bus) on Lake Shore Drive right across the street from one of the most popular beaches of Lake Michigan. This Spanish Colonial Revival villa was one of the very first permanent homes in Long Beach and was called Belle Casa by its original builder. The entryway is located in the villa's turret and also houses the original half-bath. The main floor houses the massive step down living room with a 20 foot barrel vaulted ceiling. The living room overlooks the beautiful Lake Michigan sunsets with a separate seating area room with panoramic views of Lake Michigan. It all retains the unique 1920s feel complete with an original chandelier and large wood burning fireplace. French doors open out to a patio with a seating area overlooking the massive double lot lawn and Lake Michigan.
Also on the first floor are the original formal dining room with adequate seating for up to 10 guests. The newly renovated well appointed kitchen was once a large family dining room but was rennovated in 2010 to modern standards with luxury appointments. It features granite countertops, built in oven, microwave, Bosch 5 burner cooktop, stainless side by side refrigerator with icemaker, dishwasher and all the utensils you will need for a fantastic family vacation. Located in the kitchen area is also the original pantry complete with second refrigerator and freezer. Off the kitchen is the original maid's quarters which has been renovated into a breakfast nook with cable flatscreen TV.
Located at the back of the villa was once a vintage sitting porch that has been renovated into a closed-in modern knotty pine den with widescreen wall mounted cable TV, leather sectional couches and single brass day bed. The first floor also houses a master bedroom with baby crib which all overlooks Lake Michigan.
Off the rear knotty pine den is an outdoor brick patio. On the patio you'll find the gas grill and a table with chairs under the sun umbrella perfect for sipping your morning coffee and reading the newspaper.
The second floor holds 4 bedrooms, which while retaining their original 1920's character, have huge windowed closets large enough for much more than just clothes! Each bedroom has been decorated with modern queen sized beds and pillow top mattresses as well as luxury linens and bedding. The original 1920's bathroom retains the green and black wall tile and basket weave floor tile. With an original soaking tub and walk in shower as well as full closet and updated two bowl lavatory, there is no shortage of space here. The upstairs master bedroom encompasses the villa's turret and overlooks the Lake Michigan sunsets complete with a king sized bed and seating area. Off the master bedroom are the new knotty pine bedroom and master bathroom with heated flooring and walk-in shower.
The lower level (basement area) of the villa holds the original beach shower with hot and cold water which has been newly renovated as a beach shower and cedar sauna. The laundry area with washing machine and dryer, sink, and ironing area are also in this area. One interesting note, see if you can find where the politicians and their well known Chicago mob friends signed the beams in the basement while they were playing their card games in the wee hours of the night!
There is ample parking space for up to five cars as well as lots of lawn space for plenty of various activities plus watching the sun set over Lake Michigan!
Belle Casa MaVaL is only 62 miles from the downtown loop of Chicago and is the perfect long weekend getaway for busy executives and their families. We are also only 35 miles from Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana and make for a perfect sports escape weekend lodge.
For a great escape during summer, winter, spring or fall, escape to the old world charm of Belle Casa MaVaL!
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