The Rose House is one of suburban Chicago's masterpieces of mid-century modern design. Built by architect James Speyer for Ben and Frances Rose in 1953, the structure of glass and steel rises on pylons above the hillside on which it sits. It's the same hillside down which the character Cameron sent his dad's car in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Remember this?
Indeed, we might not usually pay much heed to a listing in Highland Park, Ill. But when it's a house this well-known, one almost has to take notice. Were it not for its supporting role in that classic John Hughes film, the house would not be nearly as iconic as it is. And yet it really is a beautiful piece of mid-century modern architecture, with glass walls and straight lines, feeling almost like a clearing in the surrounding forest.
The original owners still have it, so it's not like the house has been the subject of preservation battles or bidding wars. Aside from Ferris, its only notoriety outside the design-buff world came when Bethlehem Steel featured it in a 1958 publication promoting the use of steel framing for residential design, according to Landmarks Illinois.
The Roses put the house up for sale once before, in 2009, asking $2.3 million, Curbed Chicago reports. That price slid to $1.8 million and then $1.65 million before they took the home off the market in 2011. So the new price represents a bargain, comparatively.
Most of our readers live in California so we don't expect anybody to go running out to pick up this property. But I know I was fascinated to take a look behind the scenes (after seeing the movie version probably 15 times), and thanks to a Landmarks Illinois video, that's possible. Enjoy!