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List Price: $1.149 million
The Property: Facing Promontory Point across Lake Shore Drive stands an 11-story co-op building with a façade so lovely it can only be called “cinematic.” That’s fitting, since the architects of what was originally called the Jackson Shores Apartments were Rapp and Rapp, the renowned designers of grand movie palaces, including the Chicago Theatre and Aurora’s Paramount Theatre.
The cinematic sweep continues inside, where each floor contains just two very large residences, complete with grandly scaled rooms, expansive views across the park, and a round corner orangery (or sunroom). Completed in 1917, these were homes built for well-heeled city residents and their servants. “They’re as large and as elegant as many single-family homes,” says Diane Silverman, the agent for the 5,300-square-footer on the fourth floor that was the home of the late Janina Monkute Marks. Monks, a Chicago artist who founded a museum in her native Lithuania, and her husband, the jewelry executive Ira Marks, bought the home in the early 1950s and raised four children there.
A very large foyer opens into the formal rooms: a library and a cavernous living room, facing east toward the lake; the orangery, facing east and south; and the grand dining room, facing south. As you will see in the video, they all have walls of windows and varying tall crown moldings unique to each room. The dining room, its walls and doors painted silver and mirrored in panels, has a 1950s Hollywood charisma that I plead with any future buyer to keep intact. Next to it is a very large butler’s pantry filled with original glass-front cabinetry.
Across the hall, the kitchen is a surprise because it’s so large, even though it was built for servants’ use. A buyer who opts to update it has lots of space—plus the nearby laundry, mud rooms, and a small bedroom built for servants—in which to create a modern kitchen-family room-dining hub.
Arrayed along a lengthy hallway, whose walls still hold many of Monk’s works, are the four main bedrooms. The larger two are at the west end of the hall, each with its own bathroom and with views across the architecture and treetops of Hyde Park, as well as over the building’s large shared backyard.
Storage space is abundant. The hall is lined with older linen closets (drawers below, shelves above), and the master bedroom has a very large walk-in closet, which could be expanded by absorbing the linen closet that backs up to it.
Paul Marks, one of the couple’s sons who still lives nearby, describes growing up here as quite similar to a suburban childhood: “We had all this space and light inside, and then [we could] go out to the big backyard,” he says. “And when we were older we were allowed to play in the ‘front yard’—the park and Promontory Point. For apartment living, it was pretty exceptional.”
Price Points: The estate initially listed the condo at $1.245 million in January. The price came down to $1.149 million in mid-February.
Listing Agent: Diane Silverman of Urban Search; 312-541-5971