This 114-year-old Gold Coast townhouse changed owners in December for only the third time in its history. Designed by Holabird & Root in 1894 for the attorney George W. Meeker, the house was sold in 1919 to Edward and Nora Ryerson (he ran Joseph T. Ryerson & Son, which later became part of Inland Steel, and cofounded WTTW/Channel 11). After the Ryersons bought the house, they extended it by another 65 feet, adding, among other things, a two-car garage and a library. The addition filled the entire lot except for a small terrace. “You could never get permission for that now,” says Nancy Thomas, the Koenig & Strey agent who represented the latest sellers, Burton and Elaine Gordon.
The Gordons bought the 8,900-square-foot house from the Ryersons in 1965 (Burton Gordon was the CEO and founder of Columbia National Bank of Chicago). In August 2005, the Gordons, who have downsized to a condo, listed the house with Thomas for $6 million. Price reductions had cut $1.8 million off that by December 2007, when the Gordons contracted to sell the house (the buyers are not identified in public records). The selling price is 38 percent below the original asking price.
Photograph: Chris Guillen