Broken down Oscar Mayer mansion hits housing market

Sophie Mann, Assistant A&E Editor

Looking for somewhere to park your Wienermobile? Look no further. The Oscar Mayer Mansion in Evanston is on the market. The landmark, originally owned by Oscar G. Mayer, Sr., the former chairman of the Oscar Mayer hot dog company, was built in 1901. He purchased it in 1927 and lived in it until his death in 1965.

The 7,400-square-foot home is listed by Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty for $1.75 million dollars. Listing agent Dale Lubotsky said she is “working with an attorney who is the executor of the estate,” as the home is in court possession because of its landmark status.

Because the home has been vacant for “six or seven years,” upkeep has been dormant, and the mansion has become increasingly dilapidated. According to Lubotsky, the home has no heating or cooling systems and does have a leak in the roof. No known rehabilitation has been done on the house in several years.

“This is a really unique property. It needs to be rehabbed,” Lubotsky said. “It has amazing woodwork inside, but it has been left to deteriorate and now they’re trying to sell it.”

Purchasing this home entails more than simply touring it and writing a check. Appointments to see the home are made through Sotheby’s and are for serious buyers only, Lubotsky said, because of the financial investment the home requires.

According to, a housing value search engine, the average listing price in Evanston is approximately $300,000. The listing price for the mansion is nearly six times the price of the average Evanston home.

Potential buyers must first consider how much the house will cost to restore, in addition to the high listing price, with restoration costs nearly doubling the cost of the home, Lubotsky said.

“How much are they willing to pay?” Lubotsky said. “You don’t want to end up with a $4 or $5 million investment, so it’s kind of a working backwards process. The house next door is going for $3.6 million because it does not need any restoration.”

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