10 Secrets About The Christel DeHaan House

A white mansion at twilight with a fountain

Photo by Cory Phillips/The Home Aesthetic, courtesy Encore Sotheby's International Realty

a mansion on a lake
The Linden House at twilight.

The 61-room mansion behind the tall wall along Michigan Road north of Newfields might soon have a new owner. Serious inquiries have been made, and last week, local Realtor Mike Johnson showed it to a potential buyer who flew across the country to see it after a friend in London sent her the video. So if you’re a multimillionaire who’s holding back, or a thousandaire trying to rally 20 friends to buy Linden House together, get busy.

Here are some more selling points:

It doesn’t get dirty. The Italian villastyle residence has a “hospital-grade” filtration system, according to listing agents Mike Johnson of Encore Sotheby’s International Realty and Stan Burton of Avison Young. “The house produces no dust. It keeps itself clean,” says Johnson. All 41,000 square feet of it.

Bunny Williams decorated it. The prestigious East Coast interior designer is in the Architectural Digest Hall of Fame and is one of House Beautiful’s Giants of American Design.

One button turns on every light. Perhaps this is common in the world of extreme wealth.

Pavement is heated. All of the interior floors are heated. Outside, there’s a heated frostline around the doors so the pavement doesn’t get slick.

The 151-acre property is basically an arboretum. Trees were a passion for DeHaan. She imported favorite specimens from all over the world, and the name of the estate, Linden House, references the Linden tree in her native Germany. DeHaan and Linden House’s full-time landscaper were known to dig up a tree and move it just a couple inches to place everything just so.

Joshua Bell performed there. He’s one of the many accomplished artists to give a live performance at Linden House during DeHaan’s many social and fundraising events.

Oprah might have slept there. She came to Indianapolis to meet with DeHaan and talk about funding private schools for disadvantaged kids. Did she stop by or even stay at Linden House? It’s a family secret.

An indoor lap pool
The indoor lap pool.

There are sort of four houses.
The main house is divided into a private side, where DeHaan lived, and a public side, where she entertained. The public side has the indoor pool. Then there are a pair of two-level pied-à-terre guest houses, one at each end of the curved loggia in front of the mansion. 

Sculptures line the driveway. Sculptures line the drive to the seven-bay service garage, which is designed in the same Palladian style as the house.

The sale will help educate kids around the world. DeHaan stipulated that the proceeds of the estate go to Christel House International, her later-in-life’s work. Now overseen by president and CEO Bart Peterson, the educational nonprofit runs nine schools around the world, four in Indianapolis and five overseas. Christel House supports students for five years after they graduate from high school, whether they choose to go to college or not, and extends support to their families, too. The windfall from the house will expedite growth plans, such as offering programs for other kids in Christel House communities who aren’t students. So someone drop $14 million soon, OK?

Want To Buy It?



4501 N. Michigan Rd.

Mike Johnson, Encore Sotheby’s International Realty, 317-590-3454; Stan Burton, Avison Young, 317-459-4084