Listing of the Day
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Price: $8.45 million
When Missy Lavender first saw this stately old Romanesque Revival mansion in Lincoln Park, it had been awkwardly split into six apartments.
The 1895 home had been fairly well maintained, though, and she loved the original architectural details and the historic bones at the core of the house. But everything was dark, very dark.
“I’m very light sensitive,” Ms. Lavender says. “I wanted it to be full of light. It needed to be opened up in a big way.”
After buying the house in 2007, Ms. Lavender spent two years renovating and restoring it, working with architect Chip von Weise to convert it back to a grand single-family home while keeping its quirky, historic charm.
“It was a no-budget restoration of the whole house,” says agent Suzanne Gignilliat. “No expense was spared, and everything was done to the highest quality.”
While renovating, they uncovered a pit and storage area hidden beneath the wine cellar, where a bootlegger made and stored liquor during Prohibition, according to a local historian Ms. Lavender consulted.
“It’s a great house for entertaining,” Ms. Lavender says.
The 12,623-square-foot main house has three floors of living space, with five bedrooms and six full bathrooms, plus one half-bathroom. In addition, there is a ground-floor one-bedroom, one-bath apartment with a separate entrance in the main house that is now used by the owner’s mother.
The property also includes a three-car garage and a coach house that is now a rental apartment with one bedroom and one bath.
The 50-by-90-foot lot is considered very large by Chicago standards.
The house was designed by Chicago architect Edmund Krause, who is known for designing the PrivateBank Theatre in the Loop and other mansions in Lincoln Park and on Chicago’s Gold Coast.
As part of the gut rehab, Ms. Lavender and Mr. von Weise reconfigured the dark, Victorian-era space into a light and bright oasis, with a modern floor plan and the expected comforts of a modern 21st-century home, including a large eat-in kitchen, mudroom, huge closets in every bedroom, en-suite bathrooms, and a big, comfy family room as the anchor of a two-story addition in the rear of the house.
The property has a sports court, dog run, irrigation and a snow-melt system for the long driveway. There is a gym on the fourth floor.
“This neighborhood was called Lake View when it was built,” Ms. Gignilliat says. “It was a suburban oasis where people came to vacation on the weekends.”
The block, which is full of stately homes, is now part of the Arlington-Deming Historic District in Lincoln Park.
“The house is in a great public school district” and very close to good private and parochial schools,“ Ms. Gignilliat says. "It’s a marvelous urban location.”
Agents: Caroline Moellering and Suzanne Gignilliat, Coldwell Banker Residential
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