Beyond the Secret Garden, in Lincoln Park
List Price: $4.99 million
The Property: The formal, Parisian-styled façade of this home masks its past life as a warehouse, just as the stone wall that extends from it conceals a lovely garden through which a path winds to the house’s broad glass front doors. Inside, great bow-shaped wooden trusses hold up the 16-foot ceiling. “They support the whole roof, so we could put the walls wherever we wanted,” says Keith Rudman, who bought the place in 2003.
The building had already been converted from warehouse to house, but Rudman undertook a complete upgrade of the entire 8,600-square-foot space, as well as the home’s façade. Using the 16-foot spacing of the trusses to define rooms, the Melrose Partners architect Timothy LeVaughn created a layout that has a colossal 1,500-square-foot living room beneath three sets of trusses, with every next pair of trusses hanging above the walls for the paired kitchen and den; the dining room; and a large office or family room. Lined up this way, all the rooms (except the kitchen, which is set back) get large expanses of windows that face onto the garden. As you will see in the video, the flow from room to room and from inside to out is relaxed, which helps break down the intimidation factor of such a large home.
Another portion of the building—former office space without the big trusses—is two stories high, with a big, skylight over the atrium that Rudman’s agent, Karen Peterson, notes “isn’t the usual little bubble of a skylight. This is huge.” On the first floor of this section are two bedrooms, each with a bath, and a large, well-outfitted garage that Rudman’s agent, Karen Peterson, calls “a bedroom for the car.” On the second floor, the luxurious master suite, as Peterson notes, feels like something out of a super-high end hotel. It includes a dressing space whose custom cabinetry gives it the look of an upper-class British haberdashery; a sitting room and sleeping room, both with Juliet balconies overlooking the garden; and a large bath with onyx finishes and its own Juliet balcony over the street. (Our winter pictures don’t do the garden justice; here are better images from a greener season.)
Peterson notes that while the home as laid out now has only three bedrooms, the floor plan is mutable, and the house qualifies for an addition of about 3,000 square feet in the rear.
I first met Rudman, a commodities trader, when he was selling a historic, 23-room home on the Winnetka lakefront in 2002. (My article from that visit is not archived on the magazine’s website.) Once that was sold, he moved to this home, which at the time had a far more contemporary, loft-like feel, and began to make it over in a more traditional style. “It kind of evolved and evolved to what you see now,” he says. Planning to move full-time to a home he has in North Carolina, Rudman listed this property for sale last fall.
Price Points: Rudman paid $2.7 million for the property in July 2002, according to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. He would not say how much his renovations of the property cost, but they were extensive.
Listing Agent: Karen Peterson of Coldwell Banker; 312-915-4621 or Petersonkaren@msn.com
UPDATE: We originally identified this home as being in Lake View; it's actually in Lincoln Park, and we've changed the headline to reflect that.