List Price: $3,625,000
The Property: This Georgian townhouse on Chicago’s Astor Street feels as if it were made for ambassadorial entertaining. The glass-fronted entry door opens onto an entry hall with a marble and ebony floor; from there, a broad staircase leads to a pillared gallery hall that sets the stage for a handsome living room with a trio of Palladian windows and Juliet balconies.
Built in the 1890s—possibly as a Victorian, its selling agent says, and reworked sometime later—the house has 11 rooms and four-plus baths on four stories, as well as a rooftop deck. Two of the four bedrooms—the third-floor master and one above it—have fireplaces and views of Astor Street. The kitchen, on the ground floor (where it would have been originally, when servants did all the cooking and brought dishes upstairs), is modern but has a terrific vintage feel, with gable-topped custom cabinetry; it opens onto a suburban-scaled family room, a rarity in this neighborhood of slim older homes. The dining room is also on this lowest level, although the gallery area upstairs could easily become a dining room (there is space for an elevator that would make it easier to carry food upstairs). There is no garage or driveway, but the asking price includes two deeded parking spaces in a building a few doors down the block.
“It’s a wonderful home to live in and wonderful to entertain in,” says JoAnn Turnquist, who with her husband, Ernie Csiszar, bought the house in November 2004 for $3.2 million (that did not include the price of the furnishings, most of which the couple bought from the prior owner). They moved to Chicago from South Carolina at the time because Csiszar, an insurance executive, had taken a job here. Turnquist had discovered Astor Street years before when she was a Northwestern student. “Finally getting to live here was a dream,” she says.
Csiszar is now buying a company in another state, so the couple plans to move. They listed the house for sale with Mary Bennett in November.
Price Points: In some parts of the Chicago area, the market has been indicating that 2004 prices are today’s prices, but the Gold Coast always does its own thing. Next door to this house, a comparable residence (albeit with less pizzazz in the façade and no parking arrangement) sold on November 19th for $3.85 million.
Listing Agent: Mary Bennett, Koenig & Strey GMAC, (312) 944-8900