Sunday, August 26, 2018

Bidding on Barrington Home Begins Anew

Click here to see auction details and carefully read title report, description and documents found through links at the bottom of the auction page.

Photograph shown details a section of the guest house; photos of the main house are not featured.

Opening bid begins at $475,000 and bid increments have been reduced to $50.000. Auction ends in two days.

UPDATE: The highest bid for Round 3 of the Auction was $525,000. The Bank rejected the bid and has placed the home and property up for auction again beginning at $475,000. The auction runs from 9/2/2018 through 9/4/2018.

2nd UPDATE: The highest bid for Round 4 of the Auction was $475,000. The Bank rejected the bid and the auction begins anew next weekend.

3rd UPDATE: The highest bid for the latest auction was about $478,000. 

Grodman Mid-Century Modern Warehouse Items - Final Auction Prices

Grodman's mid-century modern warehouse items were auctioned off on 8/23/18 and included the Don Erickson hand-crafted Oak and Onyx Wood Doors and Cabinet Doors removed from Erickson's Barrington house on or about late 2015, gold background Asian lacquered screens, and the matching marble foo dog to the foo dog that now acts as a gravestone in memory of Don Erickson at the White Memorial Cemetery on Cuba Road, Barrington, Illinois. Click here to see list of items and their final sale price.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


After Dr. Joseph E. Grodman acquired Erickson's Barrington home and 10 acres of land in March 2011 and after substantial renovations, Dr. Grodman lost the home and property to foreclosure. A foreclosure lawsuit was filed in early 2016 and a court-ordered property sale issued in May 2018.

The renovations to the house were principally done by BDS Design Build Remodel. I believe that they made structural improvements to the residential home and installed a new HVAC system. The wood-shingles on the Jamaican roofs had previously been replaced by concrete shingles under Don's direction a few years prior to his death in 2006. The brick floors were laid when the house was originally constructed. Erickson, his wife Shirley, their children, and Richard Erickson's family were all involved in building the original home. Richard was Don's chief drafts-person between 1955 and 1994, having attend Taliesin with Don under the tutelage of Frank Lloyd Wright.

The president of BDS is happy to consult with prospective buyers about the home and the work done on its renovation.  Contact Bryon Slowick. 

BDS Design Build Remodel
14052 W Petronella Dr #103
Libertyville, IL 60048
Office- 847.816.3250 ext 623

Today, the house consists of floors, walls, and roofs and appears to be structurally sound but, as with many homes in foreclosure, the owners themselves often strip the property of all valuables to recoup financial losses. This appears to be true of Grodman's home. The same onyx kitchen cabinets and doors designed by Don and built by him and his son, are now being auctioned off in New Jersey as part of Grodman's mid-century art collection. The east coast auction includes the grey stone foo dog that matches its companion which acts as Don's gravestone at White Memorial Cemetery on Cuba Road in Barrington, and Chinese screens that once graced the front entrance-way and the guest bedroom.

The Architect at Work
Two tenants live in the "coach house" on the property, have two large dogs, and had an agreement with Dr. Grodman which we believe included care taking the home and property in exchange for living quarters. Please consult an attorney concerning their tenancy rights related to a home in foreclosure if you are an interested buyer.

The "coach house" was actually first a barn. When the Erickson family moved to Barrington, Shirley was able to realize her dream of raising Arabian horses. The loft was used for storage of hay and straw but after Don and Shirley divorced, Don converted the barn to a "bachelor's pad" where many family members and some of Don's apprentices lived. The spiral wood staircase in the coach house was designed and built by Don's father, Gunnar Erickson. Gunnar, himself, was a master crafts-person and operated Emmco Stairs in Des Plaines, Illinois for many years.

The Barrington property consists of two 5-acre parcels, the vacant back acreage, parcel number: 13-23-200-011, and the residential property consisting of the main house and the guest home, parcel number: 13-23-200-014. While we believe that Bank of America owns both parcels, only the residential parcel is listed on the auction website. The listing agent is Carole O'Niell.

Carole O'Neill
Managing Broker/Owner GRI-REOMAC
2654 N Douglas Ave
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
847 778 5040

It is strongly suggested that interested buyers read the title insurance report available on the auction website and clarify the deeds, liens, and judgments by retaining a title company to conduct a title search and/or to conduct research via the Lake County Recorder's office.

Lake County Recorder's Office - Property Search

Tax records for the property can be researched here: Property Tax Information

Income tax liens can be researched here: State Income Tax Liens

The second auction listed the sale at $475,000. There were 3 bids, the highest being $625,000. Now, the property is again listed at $475,000 with bid increments of $100,000. It is suspected that the Bank has rejected earlier bids due to some unexpressed "reserve" which is briefly described on the auction website.

It is my wish and that of my siblings that a buyer who takes an interest in our father's work and can make an investment toward the renovation of the house is the new owner. Don's home was part of his legacy; we are disheartened by the situation but hopeful that the "wright" buyer can be found.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Items from Don Erickson Barrington Home being Separately Auctioned and the Auction is Now (Hand built and designed by my father.) (The other foo dog graces my father's grave at White Cemetery off Cuba Road.)

The mural in the entertainment room was designed and created by another artist and, if I recall correctly, the mural was installed in 2-3 pieces and is signed on the back by the artist.

House and Home in Barrington - the Beginning

My parents, Don and Shirley Erickson, purchased 10 acres of Barrington property when I was seven years old. While Dad built his business and we lived in a rented home in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, our summer weekends were often spent in Barrington. Dad built a tree house that was suspended between two trees, we flew hand-crafted model airplanes, and picked wild raspberries.  Dad would scan the property to try to determine the best site to build the home, a design which went through many iterations before the first structure was built when I was in 6th and 7th grade. 

During the time that the house was under construction, our entire family worked on the house under Dad’s tutelage and our cousin, Richard Erickson, also participated in building the house. We lay brick floors in winter with a “Sally” heater in the bitter cold. We helped put in plumbing, we stained the cedar walls, and more. We moved into a sprawling home with a flat roof with eves that draped over the walls and spent nearly a year there before the 1967 Lake Zurich tornado leveled our home, sending the roof into the valley, flattening most of the walls, and destroying most of our belongings.

We had $80,000 in insurance reimbursement and, with that and other funding, we rebuilt the home but this time with Jamaican roofs capped by skylights through which we could watch the stars.

I understand that the house has currently experienced destruction through looters and vandals and that the house is a shell of roofs and walls. This is what occurs when homes go into foreclosure and are left vacant. Even a pristine home built with the loving care of a well-trained architect and his family is not immune to the same destruction faced by so many homes across the United States since the sub-prime market crash in 2007-08.  But, even now, the home’s condition is not comparable to what our family faced one early evening in April 1967. For with grit and determination, we re-built the home and our father continued to expand it throughout the years, testing his design concepts on our home before using them on client’s designs.

For photos of the original home, its destruction and second beginning, please click on the link below.

Erickson Home - Price Drop to $475,000