List Price: $1.89 million
Sale Price: $1.795 million
The Property: On July 20, Dirk Lohan, the architect of the Soldier Field renovation and the high-rise office building at 353 N. Clark among many other notable buildings, sold his home in Old Town.
In doing so, he leaves what for a while was Chicago’s Architects Corner: Lohan was living in a corner home designed in 1978 by another prominent architect, Larry Booth, and on the diagonally opposite corner is the home that the eminent Walter Netsch, lead architect of the US Air Force Academy, designed for himself. And next door to Lohan’s is a house that, although it was designed by less prominent architects than those three, complemented the other two homes’ eccentric 1970s angularity.
When Booth designed the home, in 1978, he was part of what was known as the Chicago Seven, post-modern architects whose work was out of line with the hard-edged modernism that was prevalent in Chicago architecture. More recently, his firm, Booth Hansen Architects, has designed the Joffrey Tower on State Street, a very green plant science center at the Chicago Botanic Garden, and the renovation of the Palmolive Building (aka the Playboy Building ) on North Michigan Avenue into condos.
The Booth/Lohan house in Old Town is a large box, mostly brick but with windows in offbeat arrangements. One tall stack wraps the corner, and on the main façade, strips of windows form an exaggerated Z shape. Photos that accompanied the listing show that the interior is mostly crisp white walls, ceilings and cabinetry. The listing says the home was “expanded + refined” by the seller, so it’s not clear what inside is from Booth and what from Lohan. Neither Lohan nor his listing agent, Tracy Dillard, responded to requests for comment.
The interior photos suggest that during Lohan’s stay in the home, the hand of at least one more architect was present: In the living room are four Barcelona chairs. Lohan’s grandfather Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed the iconic Barcelona chair in 1928.
Another late-1970s house by Booth was purchased by a prominent architect a few years ago. In 2009, Gordon Gill, a principal at the firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architects, designers of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, bought a 1979 Booth house in Lincoln Park. Gill later told me that he’d bought the house for his daughter.
Price Points: According to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, Lohan bought the house in 2003 for $1.435 million. He listed it for sale last October, asking $1.95 million, then in March cut the price three percent to $1.89 million. The home went under contract in May and the deal closed July 20, to buyers who are not yet identified in public records. Because we don’t know what Lohan did to the house, or what it cost, it’s not possible to estimate how much profit he walked away with.