The 10,000 square-foot residence was part of what a newspaper in 1915 called “an interesting ‘social community.’ ” Emphasis on “interesting.”
Published April 7, 2020, at 11:14 a.m.
Text by Alison Goldman
In the early 20th century, artist Abram J. Poole and architect Henry Corwith Dangler joined a group of friends that also included a draftsman, a muralist, an arts patron, and a jewelry maker to form an artists’ colony in side-by-side north Lincoln Park row houses — designed by Dangler and none other than David Adler. Each house was customized for its resident’s creative endeavors (Poole, for example, wanted a painting studio) but would also have a central heating plant for the whole building and coordinated designs. Inside Poole’s house, below a towering skylit ceiling and above a fireplace mantel, the painter brushed a moody-toned building-scape on the wall.
You can still find that painting in the great room at 2704 North Lakeview Avenue. It’s one of the details that first captivated current owner Bianca Richie. “When I saw that painting,” says Richie, who lives in the home with her husband, Dmitry, and their young daughter, “I was sold right away.” But after less than two years there, the couple, who together founded the boutique travel agency IFlyFirstClass, are now listing the 10,000-square-foot house for $5.48 million, with plans to move closer to family on the West Coast.
Just as the Richies’ time in the house has been brief, the artists’ community was short-lived. Dangler died of tuberculosis in March 1917, two months after the row houses were completed, and Poole and another resident joined the service the following month after the U.S. entered World War I. But the details and history of Poole’s home remain, including the functionality of its architecture. “If we ever decide to build a house, we’d have to take a lot of notes from this one,” says Richie. “It’s amazing in terms of livable space and how it’s all designated to different areas.”
The couple purchased the home in 2018 from a developer who’d extensively restored and renovated the property, adding 1,200 square feet. The new 378-square-foot kitchen features a built-in coffee system and a connected breakfast nook bedecked with a custom-upholstered velvet banquette, from which you can look out onto the private terrace. And the master suite — one of six bedrooms — includes an unobstructed view of the park, as well as a bathroom with heated marble floors, a freestanding bathtub, and a television that can be artfully hidden behind a mirror to avoid messing with the room’s overall aesthetic.
Visitors have asked Richie whether her small family really needs a place this big. “But we use all the space,” she says, “because of how smart it is.”