Don Erickson’s Barrington Estate on the Market Again


Don Erickson, easily my favorite local modernist architect, built an amazing home for himself and his family on 10 acres in Barrington in the ’60s. Originally built with a flat roof, the home was destroyed by a tornado, and when he rebuilt it, he incorporated what would become one of his trademark elements: A pagoda-style roof that he and his business partner, Dennis Stevens, referred to as their “Jamaican” roof, referring to some architecture they’d observed while working on projects for clients in Negril.

(The photos here are a combination of photos I took while at the house, archival images found online and photos from a previous listing in 2010 before it was purchased the last time and do not reflect the current state of the home, unfortunately)

After Don died, the house eventually went into foreclosure and was purchased by a Chicago-based Psychologist, who “spent millions” rehabbing the house and filling it with all manner of artworks and restored vintage modern furniture. He also added an outdoor pool (the home has an indoor pool), reconfigured a number of spaces, and shored up some of the mechanicals as well.

Unfortunately, the home was foreclosed on again, and the deed has been transferred to Bank of America, who will auction off the home in a couple of weeks.

I’ve been in the house several times…before it was purchased in 2011, after the remodel was complete, and again less than a year ago, after the house had been gutted, with most furnishings and fixtures removed.

Due to the current circumstances, the home cannot be shown, so potential buyers / bidders will need to go by the potential. I do know that the roof sections were rebuilt as part of the remodel, so structurally, the house is theoretically in excellent shape.

For those of you who subscribe to Crain’s, I was quoted in a piece that Dennis Rodkin wrote about the house published today, which you can see at this link.

Here’s hoping that somebody will purchase the home and restore it, as much is realistically possible, to how it was before the remodel. 


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