the Rite, a Masonic group, sold the cathedral, the three mansions, and a parking lot to developers for about $60 million…">
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Sale of the Week: Selling Off the Rite Stuff —Near North Side

List Price: $3.47 million
Sale Price: $3.128 million
The Property: Built of Lake Superior sandstone, this residence is one of three 19th-century mansions adjoining the Scottish Rite Cathedral on the 900 block of North Dearborn. In 2006, the Rite, a Masonic group, sold the cathedral, the three mansions, and a parking lot to developers for about $60 million…

List Price: $3.47 million
Sale Price: $3.128 million
The Property: Built of Lake Superior sandstone, this residence is one of three 19th-century mansions adjoining the Scottish Rite Cathedral on the 900 block of North Dearborn. In 2006, the Rite, a Masonic group, sold the cathedral, the three mansions, and a parking lot to developers for about $60 million. In a joint venture, Enterprise Companies and Mesirow Financial Real Estate are building a condo tower, Walton on the Park, on the site of the parking lot. They marketed the three houses as Mansions on the Park.

Today’s property, at 915 North Dearborn Street, was built in 1888 for the attorney John Howland Thompson from a design by Cobb & Frost. (Henry Ives Cobb would later design the Newberry Library, which sits nearby on the north side of Washington Square Park; Treat & Foltz designed the other two houses.) The deal on this house, the farthest south of the three mansions, closes this afternoon. The agent for all three mansions, Millie Rosenbloom, would not identify the buyer.

Using a series of interior doorways, the Scottish Rite had linked all three of the mansions to create an office complex. None of the mansions has a kitchen, and each needs a complete restoration. This house, with 10,500 square feet of living space on three floors, still has a grandly scaled foyer and staircase, an immense living room with views of the park, and a big curved wall of windows in the dining room. Prepping the place for sale, the developers yanked down a lot of paneling and drop ceilings and uncovered two main-floor fireplaces. There is also a fireplace in the master bedroom. The house’s stone exterior extends to a high garden wall and a coach house with an 800-square-foot apartment.

In early April, the Chicago investor Christopher Lorenzen paid $3.4 million for the 118-year-old mansion at 925 North Dearborn (the George B. Carpenter House). The architect Larry Booth is handling the extensive renovation there. Built in 1895, the middle mansion, at 919 North Dearborn—the George H. Taylor house—is still for sale, with an asking price of $4 million.

Price Points: Rosenbloom estimates that the interior restoration will come to at least $3 million (at a going rate of about $300 per square foot). “You can’t do a place like this on the cheap,” she insists. That estimate includes the cost of cleaning the blackened stone on the mansion’s exterior. Add all this to the cost of the house, and the new owner’s total investment could reach $7 million.

Listing Agent: Millie Rosenbloom of Baird & Warner, 312-980-1517; millie.rosenbloom@bairdwarner.com  
 

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