Historic Wheaton Mansion Can Be Yours For Free, But There’s A Big Catch

(CBS) — A historic Wheaton mansion can be yours at no cost, but there’s a catch: You have to physically move the building away.

“It would be a very expensive project to move it. But if someone can move it, they can have it.”

Nancy Flannery, chair of the Wheaton Historic Commission, is referring to the Seven Gables mansion, built back in 1897.

Designed by architect Jarvis Hunt, the building, formerly of the Chicago Golf Club Colony, is slated to be destroyed and replaced with homes.

Pulte Homes, the company in charge of the project, has said that anyone that can move the mansion can keep it, free of charge.

Flannery is hopeful someone can do just that.

“It is the kind of house that we have an obligation to try and save,” she says. “This house could be used for a community center. It could be used for some kind of educational center. It could be put to use for the public good.”

Since posting an ad for the mansion on Craigslist on Monday morning, Flannery said she has been contacted by more than 40 people with serious offers.

Can it be done? Historic preservation consultant Jean Follett was skeptical.

“I think it’s just too big a project. It takes a lot of planning, a lot of money and then you’ve got to have the lot to put it on,” she tells CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov.

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