Water Tower Place Condo Belonged to Former Hollywood Starlet

List Price: $1.75 million
The Property: Outside the windows of this 46th-floor condo at Water Tower Place lie two of Chicago’s great beauties: its architecture and its shoreline. They are a good complement to the beauty that resides inside the condo—as well as to the Hollywood beauty that was its most recent resident…


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List Price: $1.75 million
The Property: Outside the windows of this 46th-floor condo at Water Tower Place lie two of Chicago’s great beauties: its architecture and its shoreline. They are a good complement to the beauty that resides inside the condo—as well as to the Hollywood beauty that was its most recent resident.

In the 1930s, June Travis was a pretty, up-and-coming Hollywood starlet. She starred with Ronald Reagan and James Cagney and dated Reagan and Howard Hughes. But Travis (born Dorothea Grabiner) gave up Hollywood glamour for love back home in Chicago, becoming June Friedlob (after her marriage to Fred Friedlob).

In recent years, this condo was home to her and her late-in-life companion, Erwin Gruen. He died in 2006, she in 2008. The main living space is a large, open-plan L that combines the living room, the dining room, and a den. It is wrapped on the east and north sides with big windows that frame views of Lake Michigan and surrounding high- and low-rises.

The long side of the L spans about 40 feet, more than enough for entertainment-sized living and dining nodes. With light-colored, wide plank floors and those big windows it has the airiness of a beach house—although the beach is hundreds of feet below. “The wonderful thing about this building is that everything is so wide,” says Connie Atterbury, the Dream Town agent who is selling the condo for Friedlob’s estate. “You don’t get that rabbit hutch feeling of some condo buildings.”

The short leg of the L contains a study that was created out of what would originally have been a third bedroom. It’s a cozier space, two of its walls lined with built-in shelves. The other two bedrooms are also on the north side of the floor plan. The smaller of the two has its own bathroom, and of course the very large master bedroom has its own bath.

A buyer will most likely want to redo the dated kitchen, in the process opening it up to the living space as sort of a bookend to the study. As is, it is on the interior of the floor plan with no windows. That’s not something that would have seemed strange when the building went up in 1975, but now, with cooking a social event, taking down part of the wall to the dining room is in order.

Close at hand within the building are the services of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and all the shopping and dining at Water Tower Place. The Museum of Contemporary Art and the Eli Shulman playlot in Seneca Park are nearby.

Price Points: Previously priced at more than $2 million with another agent, the condo has been in Atterbury’s hands since June, when she had the price at $1.9 million. The condo is 2,754 square feet, which at the current price works out to $635 a square foot. A more lavish, bank-owned 3,400-square-foot condo on the building’s 72nd floor is listed for $2.995 million, or $880 a square foot.

Listing Agent: Connie Atterbury of Dream Town Realty; 312 265-4925

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