List Price: $799,000
The Property: One of the 40 homes on Alta Vista Terrace, this row house has many of its original 103-year-old features. But the place has been updated with new baths and with windows that keep the heat indoors so residents won’t feel as if they are inhabiting the dank interiors of Dickensian London—the model for this unique Chicago street.
Created by the developer Samuel Gross, who built more than 10,000 homes in and near Chicago in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Alta Vista arose after Gross, during a trip to Europe, became smitten with the row houses in London’s Mayfair district. Gross decided to re-create a little of that neighborhood on a parcel of land he owned in Lake View near what is now Wrigley Field. Along an unusually narrow street, he built two sets of 20 row houses (thus the nickname “The Street of 40 Doors”) with a wide variety of façade treatments. The sets of houses have been flipped end-to-end, which means that each house on the west side of the street is essentially the mirror image of the house diagonally opposite it on the east side of the street.
As you will see in the video, today’s house has a large double-doored foyer and high-ceilinged living and dining rooms that sport matching round bays—one facing the street, the other the small back yard. The kitchen, redone in the 1990s by the current seller, Linda Bracken, has a grandfather clock built into the oak cabinetry. Upstairs, where there were four bedrooms and a bath, there are now three bedrooms and two baths. The very large master bedroom (with a small master bath) is a combination of two former rooms; a large archway frames the sleeping area, and a bay of windows frames views of the façades across the street. The house comes with an attached one-car garage.
Bracken finished the basement with a full bath (for a total of four full baths), a bedroom, and office space; just nine years ago, that office housed Bracken’s one-person consulting company, an enterprise that has since grown to 45 employees and now has its offices elsewhere. The mother of two small children, Bracken has listed the house for sale because she is running out of room, says her agent, Millie Rosenbloom.
Price Points: Bracken bought the house for $318,000 in 1992; she has since upgraded and renovated extensively. Another row house on the block sold for $750,000 when the market was high; Rosenbloom says that home had just two bedrooms, one bath, and no finished basement. Another home on the block has recently gone under contract. Its asking price was $555,000; its agent, Susan Lawrence of @Properties, told me it needs renovations and some upgrades and was being sold as-is. She would not disclose the sale price because the deal has not yet closed.
Listing Agent: Millie Rosenbloom of Baird & Warner; 312-980-1517 email@example.com