Canadian Packaging

Food mansions for sale

By Canadian Packaging staff   

General Argo Starch Campbell Soup Company Ghirardelli Chocolate Homes of Packaging families Morton Salt Oscar Mayer Pabst Brewing Company

A glimpse at the historical family homes of the rich and famous of the food and beverage industry - and they're for sale!

Okay… this isn’t really about packaging, but it is about the mansions currently up for sale owned by the families who started mega food and beverage empires—products which, of course, used packaging.

Despite the slim packaging link, Canadian Packaging is sure you’ll enjoy these food mansions currently up for sale found at:

Five of these most popular brands accrued unimaginable wealth for people who founded these companies and their heirs. Today, their sumptuous mansions are for sale.

Campbell’s Soup Mansion

Mmm-mmm good.

Mmm-mmm pretty darn good.

John T. Dorrance, born in 1873, was a chemist who worked for his father in the family’s preserve factory. It was there where he invented the formula for condensing soup.  By 1914, he had started the Campbell Soup Company and ran it until his death in 1930, at which time it was passed down to his son. His grandson, Bennett Dorrance, is Campbell’s second-largest shareholder today.  At the time of John’s death, he owned two family mansions – one in New Jersey and one in Pennsylvania. Though domicile was claimed in Pennsylvania, the two states battled over the estate taxes, which ended up being paid to both states.  It is his Pennsylvania mansion, Linden Hill, that is now for sale – see above.

The palatial estate is nestled on 50 private open and wooded acres and consists of the French Normandy-style mansion 14,467 square feet.  Included are eight bedrooms, ten baths, formal rooms, family and game rooms with extensive accommodations for long or short term guests.  Grounds contain multiple stone outbuildings, two swimming pools, tennis court, ten-car garage, beautifully landscaped grounds and an aviary.  Lisa Weber Yakulis with Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty is the listing agent. Asking  US$19.5 million.

Ghirardelli Chocolate Mansion

Either chocolate isn’t as financially rewarding as soup, or the owners were more frugal.

Either chocolate isn’t as financially rewarding as soup, or the owners were more frugal. But it’s what inside that holds an additional surprise.

Listed at US$5.3 million in May 2016, and recently closed at $4.65 million after the price was dropped to $4.98 million, it’s not surprising that this beautiful early 1900’s Mission Revival-style mansion with old-world craftsmanship, spacious rooms and beautifully landscaped setting almost flew off the market. Much like the family’s Ghirardelli Chocolate products.

The home has an unusual twist in that it was built by the Milwain Brothers in the early 1900s in the Mission Revival style which was popular at the time, but soon fell out of favor. According to historian Gail Lombardi, Ghirardelli heir Ellen (Ghirardelli) Cushing took out a building permit for the house in 1911 to restyle the facade into the more popular Colonial Revival style which took a year to complete.

The 6,479-square-foot mansion has seven bedrooms and six baths, a third-floor apartment and a guest house above the two-car garage in Piedmont, California – a wealthy area of Oakland. Notable are original hardwood floors, coffered and arched ceilings with built-ins and woodwork displaying artful craftsmanship. Rooms are spacious and large windows throughout allow for sunshine-filled rooms and garden views from each.  Palatial in all respects, throughout its interior, formal gardens, outdoor kitchen, terraces, while rose gardens carpet the grounds. The final sale price was $4.65 million.  Debbi DiMaggio of DiMaggio & Betta Highland Partners was the listing agent.

The Oscar Mayer Mansion

Sadly, despite what you want it to be, this building is NOT in the shape of an Oscar Mayer wiener.

Sadly, despite what you want it to be, this building is NOT in the shape of an Oscar Mayer wiener.

The family home of Oscar Ferdinand Mayer’s son Oscar G. Mayer, Sr. has recently undergone a stunning restoration and is now for sale. Mayer took over the Oscar Mayer sausage company in 1928 from his father, and was primarily responsible for the company’s rapid growth from 200 to over 8,000 employees. He purchased the brick mansion in 1927 and lived there until his death in 1965.

Located in Evanston, Illinois’ historic Lakeshore District, the 7,401-square-foot mansion has huge rooms spanning its three floors with artful restoration of the original features. Included are six bedrooms, five baths, formal rooms each with fireplace and original surrounds, chef’s kitchen with walk-in pantry and top-name appliances, music room, game room, paneled library with fireplace, ballroom with fireplace, billiard room, original restored woodwork, restored original light fixtures and stained-glass windows.  The original refinished hardwood floors are evident throughout and all new mechanical systems have been installed.  Notable are the large entry foyer/parlor with fireplace and detailed millwork, butler’s pantry with wine cooler and the fully outfitted master suite dressing room and bath.  A large heated sunroom is accessed from the kitchen and ideal for growing cooking herbs year-round. Still original, but better. Priced at US$2.8 million.

Pabst Beer Mansion

That is one blue-ribbon pool!

That is one blue-ribbon pool!

After the end of Prohibition, 1936 was a good year for the Pabst Brewing Company and its president, Harris Perlstein, hired architect William Pereira to design his family mansion on two acres in the peaceful lakefront Glencoe bedroom community – 20 miles north of Chicago. Though the Pabst Company headquarters have bounced around from its origin in Milwaukee in 1844 to Chicago, back to Milwaukee and now in Los Angeles, it has had a tumultuous history, surviving Prohibition by switching to cheese sales and a hostile takeover and undergone dramatic transformations to become the country’s fastest growing beer brand in the early 2000s. Though a number of Pabst mansions exist in various parts of the country depending on the company’s owner at the time, it is the Glencoe mansion built by Perlstein that is currently for sale.

Pabst Manor rests on over two lushly landscaped acres only a few blocks from a wide beach on Lake Michigan, boutique shops in the village, parks, recreation, the acclaimed Writers Theatre and is home to the Chicago Botanic Gardens. At 14,364 square feet, the Georgian-style mansion includes eight bedrooms, twelve baths, formal rooms, library with original walnut paneling and built-ins, media room, game room, updated cook’s eat-in kitchen, sun room, large recreation/game room, elevator and multiple fireplaces throughout. Outdoor recreation includes a large swimming pool and secluded sports court.  The large renovated coach house has a four-car heated garage. Wendy Friedlich of @Properties is the listing agent. Previously priced at US$6.3 million, the price has recently been reduced to $4.595 million.

Morton Salt Mansion

Apparently a home worth its salt.

Apparently a home worth its salt.

Few food ingredients could be more necessary than salt and Joy Sterling Morton, owner of the Morton Salt and Argo Starch brands, was a man with good instincts who was successful in several diverse ventures. Morton cared about the future of Chicago and devoted equal time to volunteering his time to ensure its prosperity.  Another important contribution was his Morton Arboretum that he established in 1922 adjacent to his estate in Lisle, Illinois, which has grown from his original 178 acres to 1,700 acres.  It also houses a vast horticultural library containing many British volumes and his own personal library. When Joy Morton died in 1934, his daughter, Jean Morton Cudahy, became Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Arboretum. As an heir to the family fortune, which she shared with her brother, this elegant Lake Forest estate was built for Jean and her husband in 1914 and is now for sale. A second view of this mansion is at the very top of this article.

Located in a bedroom community north of downtown Chicago and designed by the famous architect David Adler, this private, gated mansion nestled on two acres measures 10,386 square feet and includes nine bedrooms and eleven baths. Exceptional craftsmanship details are seen in the original detailed millwork, inlaid and parquet floors and the high quality of construction flows through the entire mansion. Updates such as the kitchen with its cherry cabinetry and marble baths with gold fixtures are two such examples. Also included are the formal rooms with large windows and tall ceilings, multiple fireplaces, dark wood-clad bar room and lounge, paneled library, large butler’s pantry, large bedrooms with seating areas and five with ensuite baths. Grounds include mature professional landscaping, pool, spa, tennis court and terraces for entertaining.  John O’Neill of CONLON/Christie’s International Real Estate has the listing. Priced at US$4.9 million.


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