The Tuesday night death of a Highland Park woman is under investigation, Highland Park police said today.
Sylvia “Sylvie” Robinson, 51, was discovered dead Tuesday night in her home with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, said Deputy Chief George Pfutzenreuter. Lake County Coroner’s Office Chief Deputy Orlando Portillo said there were no apparent signs of foul play and that the official cause of death is still pending autopsy results.
Robinson and her husband, Milton, were known for the restoration of the Ward W. Willits House in the 1400 block of Sheridan Road, widely considered to be Frank Lloyd Wright’s first great Prairie style masterpiece.
Police responded to the Robinson home at about 6:45 p.m. Tuesday.
“Responding officers found that the wife had suffered an apparent single gunshot to the head," police said in a statement. “While the incident is being reported as -- and has the appearance of -- a self-inflicted fatal injury, police are thoroughly investigating the incident. The suspected weapon used was recovered on site.”
The death is being investigated by the Highland Park police, the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force and the Lake County coroner's office.
The Robinsons bought the Willits house in 1983, despite its run-down condition, according to previous Tribune stories. With millions of dollars and thousands of hours of work, they restored the home and started the Willits-Robinson Preservation Foundation.
The Willits house, named after the man who commissioned Wright to build it in 1901, was restored with the help of John Eifler, noted restoration architect.
Milton and Sylvie Robinson held their wedding reception at the house in 1988, according to a 1998 Tribune story.
Milton Robinson could not be reached for comment this morning.