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List Price: $985,000
The Property: When making their coffee order, some people ask for the drink “with room”—space at the top of the cup for adding cream or sugar. Here’s a 124-year-old greystone in Lake View that comes with room: about 1,000 feet of unfinished walk-up attic space with 12-foot ceilings that could become a master suite or an enormous family room.
That’s not to say the house needs to grow. With a very large kitchen, living room, and dining room, as well as four bedrooms on the second floor, there is already ample space here.
And ample vintage detail. There’s an ornate wooden staircase in the foyer, three pairs of intact pocket doors, very tall windows, stained-glass transoms in the dining room, and a sleeping porch off the master bedroom. The kitchen, too, is vintage, though it dates from the 1970s; it looks fun but would likely be gutted and redone by the next owner. Two of the three bathrooms, including the sizable master bath, might also need an update.
I just hope the next owner appreciates the funky piecemeal garden wall out back that incorporates stone, pottery, and other artifacts (you can see it in the video and in the photos below). The wall surrounds a yard that is fairly large by Lake View standards and includes a one-car alley garage that is part of a coach house shared with the home next door.
Today’s house has had only three owners, which may be why so much of it remains intact. The family that originally owned it stayed until the 1950s, and the current sellers, Louis and Barbara Rocah—he’s a UIC professor of architecture, and she’s a psychiatrist—have lived there since 1963. In the 1990s, they restored the pocket doors, the gigantic wood-framed mirrors in the foyer and the dining room, and the staircase and the balcony above.
Price Points: Now in their 80s, the Rocahs listed the house for sale in March. “Because it’s crazy well-priced,” says their agent, Kim Kerbis, there is already one contract on the house, but she is continuing to show the home to potential buyers until that contract closes.