Rolling Meadows’ unique home sells for $531K

The concrete exterior, with its rough-hewn brutalist architecture, belies the home’s cheerful interior: swinging 1970s, with spiral staircases, curved walls, wood-paneled bar, indoor pool, oval fireplace, and signature furnishings in violet, indigo and burnt orange.

Emily O’Brien took one look and fell in love.

O’Brien, who recently bid on other potential buyers, paid $531,000 for the home in Rolling Meadows.

O’Brien, 27, runs Hello Vintage, an online fashion marketplace that specializes in buying and selling clothing dating from the 16th to 20th centuries, including rare museum-type pieces. She started collecting and selling vintage clothes at the age of 14, and turned it into a career once she graduated from college.

When she saw Rolling Meadows’ house, O’Brien considered it a place to live and to take pictures of her merchandise.

“The furniture, the wood paneling, the woods outside; these felt like good places to take pictures,” she said.

O’Brien is in the process of closing its Hello Vintage storefront in Oakland, California, and switching exclusively to online retail when it moves into the Rolling Meadows home this summer.


“I’ve been so spoiled by the California weather,” she said. “But I’m looking forward to the change of seasons and the comfort of my winter home.”

O’Brien had been looking for a home for about a year when she saw the Rolling Meadows house appear in November on Zillow Gone Wild, an Instagram that features unique and unusual property listings. She saw the Instagram post on Friday, and the following Monday, she was on a plane to Chicago.

After touring the house near Plum Grove and Kirchoff avenues, O’Brien won over four other potential buyers by offering to pay cash and accepting the best offer of $1,000.

“When I saw the house, I didn’t want to leave,” she said.

The exterior of a one-of-a-kind home in Rolling Meadows fits like a glove with the lush environment.
– Courtesy of VHT Studios

The 3,500-square-foot home sits on a wooded half-acre and has four bedrooms and four full bathrooms. The exterior is made of cast concrete and features four towering cylinders centered in a diamond shape.

The entrance has a three-story cylindrical tower with a spiral staircase leading to an open main level with a two-story living room, built-in bar, open plan kitchen/dining room, large family room, built-in arched sofa and oval fireplace. There is also an indoor pool with a two-level water slide.

“I’m a mermaid at heart, so I love the pool,” O’Brien said.

The four bedrooms include a master bedroom with a round bed with built-in lighting that can be controlled from the headboard. The house has special features such as narrow-width wood paneling and terrazzo floors.

The modern home, built in 1977, is a far cry from the famous Rolling Meadows ranch homes built by Kimball Hill in the 1950s.

It’s part James Bond, part Hugh Hefner, and part Mad Men,” said Lou Zuccaro, author of Illinois Modern, a website focused on mid-century modern real estate.

Zucaro is also an agent with Baird & Warner, and represented home seller, Anders Stubkjaer, a finance and operations executive and business consultant. Records show that Stubkjaer bought the house in 1991 for $510,000. Stopcare did not respond to interview requests.

The unsolved mystery is the name of the original owner and the architect who designed the house. Zucaro tried searching the public records, but it came up empty. Zuccaro said Stobcare did not receive any information when he bought the house.

“He was at least the third or fourth owner at the time of his purchase, and he didn’t come with a copy of the plans,” Zuccaro said. “The area was previously unincorporated, so finding any information was a challenge.”

Leave a Reply