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List Price: $839,000
The Property: It’s no surprise to find lots of daylight surrounding you on the rooftop deck of today’s property, a three-bedroom condo in an old South Loop building tucked into a historical block. The surprise is inside, which during the day is nearly as bright as the outdoors, thanks to the clerestories, seven skylights, and a wall of tall windows.
This is all thanks to the extensive renovations that Theo and Dana Killion have made to their third-floor condo in a 1918 commercial building. The interior was much darker when the couple bought the place in 2002, says Carla Walker, who was their agent then and now. Two-story pop-ups above two of the bedrooms, internal windows that pass light along, and other improvements helped lightened the condo.
The new staircase is also lighter, although in a different sense. Where once the condo had a winding metal staircase from the living room up to the deck, the Killions put in a contemporary staircase that appears to float up the side wall.
As you will see in the video, the living room, at the rear of the condo (and of the building), is graced by a row of six tall original windows whose view is not crowded by the South Loop’s tallest buildings; the neighbors are all older low-rises. Exposed-brick walls and a vintage tin ceiling enclose the large space that encompasses the living room, the dining room, and the study.
In the kitchen, the materials are more contemporary: bamboo-finish cabinets, concrete countertops, and stainless steel appliances. The kitchen is an interior room, but its walls don’t go all the way up, so daylight pours in overhead from clerestories in an adjacent bedroom.
It’s one of two bedrooms for the couple’s sons; between them and the master bedroom is a large family room that was originally the condo’s living room. It shares light from its skylights with the master bedroom, also via clerestories. The master has a large contemporary bathroom and a dressing room closet.
Back to that roof deck: The Killions created a lovely 350-square-foot space, complete with garden shed and rain barrel, but the condo has rights to a full 2,400 square feet up there. A buyer could create a veritable playground with that much space.
With its old and new finishes, the condo has hints of the South Loop, both in its old commercial-industrial iteration and as it is today, a lively residential neighborhood. While its setting in a nondescript building provides privacy, the condo is within reach of much of the neighborhood’s dining and drinking establishments, including my personal favorite, Waffles, two blocks north.
Price Points: Walker says that her clients are asking less than $280 a square foot. She notes that a few blocks north, in the Museum Park West high-rise at 1201 South Prairie Avenue, they are getting $555 a square foot. The two types of housing aren’t quite the same, but Walker believes that for 3,000 square feet of living space in a good location, “we have the advantage.” There is no parking attached to the building; the sellers own two garage spaces a quarter of a block away, for which they’re asking $30,000 each.