Northbrook group enjoys vintage music
Updated: December 2, 2012 6:05AM
A delightful tune from one of the many automatic music machine treasures welcomed guests to the Sanfilippo Estate on Oct. 18.
Gregory Leifel, Sanfilippo Foundation executive director, waited patiently on the atrium staircase of the Barrington Hills mansion as members of the Northbrook Community Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago streamed in for their “Feast For the Senses” program.
When the music stopped, the sounds of a cell phone being shut off cued Leifel’s welcoming remarks.
Then the NCA/AIC visitors stepped temporarily back in time among the mansion’s collections.
This is the private residence of Jasper and Marian Sanfilippo. Their business is of one of the top private label nut distribution companies worldwide.
“We affectionately like to call this the nut house,” joked Leifel.
The Sanfilippo Estate is not open to the general public, except through pre-arranged group tours and private charity events.
The group ascended a wide staircase leading to a concert wonderland.
A Wurlitzer organ under cathedral ceilings and dramatic theatrical lighting brought to mind “The Phantom of the Opera.”
Earlier, NCA/AIC members gathered in a room where pixies and Tiffany lamps were eye candy.
“It’s fascinating,” said Claire Rothnagel of Glenview who worked for 25 years as a Northbrook Public Library reference librarian.
Seated near a stained glass illuminated pastel bird, Rothnagel’s perch near a picture window overlooked 300 acres of verdant grounds which included a lake in the shape of a peanut.
“I’ve never seen all of these mechanical musical things before,” she said.