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On the Market: Heart of Glass, Old Town

It must be nice to have an architect like Rodrigo del Canto for a father. When his two daughters were young, del Canto built them a rooftop pool above the garage of the family’s Lincoln Park home. A few years ago, designing a new home in Old Town for himself and the two girls—teenagers by…

List Price: $2.58 million
The Property: It must be nice to have an architect like Rodrigo del Canto for a father. When his two daughters were young, del Canto built them a rooftop pool above the garage of the family’s Lincoln Park home. A few years ago, designing a new home in Old Town for himself and the two girls—teenagers by then—he created a place where the girls could have their own section of the house, connected by a metal bridge to their father’s master suite of bedroom, bath, and terrace.

The idea, del Canto says, came from the Mexico City home of the artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, where two independent spaces were connected by a bridge. Del Canto figured that his teenagers would similarly want to be on their own, but not entirely cut off from their father. Built in a C shape with three stories of glass walls surrounding a central courtyard, the home has such transparency that, no matter where they went, the girls could still easily track their father’s location. Nearly every room in the house overlooks the courtyard, and views across the gap take in multiple indoor levels.

Now listed for sale because del Canto’s younger daughter heads off to college in the fall, the house impressed my colleague Christine Newman, until recently Chicago’ s interior design writer. In 2006, Newman described how a visitor might stand transfixed as yellow drapes hanging three stories tall in the courtyard  “flutter and twirl gracefully in a soft breeze [like] balletic sentinels.” Those outdoor curtains are a nod to an ancient architectural flourish that del Canto still enjoys on the Piazza San Marco in Venice, but they also soften an otherwise hard-edged block and glass exterior.

The street face of the house is a puzzle. Its alternating rough and smooth stone sections suggest a fortress, but its taxi-yellow chimney hints at the playfulness inside. Walk the gravel path from sidewalk to the hidden courtyard entry, though, and the whole thing opens up in glass.

The spaces in this home are expertly thought out, as you will see in the video, where del Canto, principal of the architecture firm Macondo, leads me through his creation. There is a large, airy living room, a well-outfitted kitchen with a big stone fireplace, a big rear terrace off the master bath, and a third-floor terrace off the family room (which is in the children’s domain, above their bedrooms) that provides glorious views of the city skyline. There is also a fourth bedroom off the kitchen, now used as del Canto’s home office, that is the only room that doesn’t partake of the home’s glass center. (The girls’ bedrooms don’t look directly into it, but a shared play or sitting area adjacent to their rooms does.)

Price Points: Del Canto’s purchase price for the lot is not recorded with the county, and he would not discuss how much he has invested in the property. He listed the home for sale last fall at the same price he is now asking: $2.58 million.

Listing Agent: Millie Rosenbloom, Baird & Warner, 312-980-1517; millie.rosenbloom@bairdwarner.com
 

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