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List Price: $750,000
The Property: A onetime corner candy store in Chicago got a very hip update when its corner-wrapping windows were replaced with a quirky mosaic of glass block. It’s a visual embodiment of what’s happened throughout the Roscoe Village neighborhood over the past two decades, as that former working-class community got an infusion of contemporary cool.
Built in 1908 as a bakery and later used as a candy store, the one-story brick structure got a thorough reworking as a residence in the 1990s. When Steve and Marice Greenberg moved here from New York in 2005, they didn’t want a “cookie-cutter home,” Marice says. They loved this place for its loft-like feel and its classic Chicago neighborhood setting. But they had some work to do: the exterior trim was “Barney purple,” and there were a lot of other colors inside. The couple toned the whole thing down and made some snappy additions—the best is the suspended onion-shaped fireplace, a kicky 1960s piece that hangs in the elbow of the glass block curve.
Wrapped on two sides with glass block and capped by a skylight, the living room (as you will see in the video) is bright, sunny, and surprisingly private, considering that it projects out to the sidewalk. A set of folding stained glass doors opens into the master bedroom, another room with a skylight. From there, the long, linear layout stretches through a kitchen–dining–family room area and past two more bedrooms before ending at the garage. There are curved ceilings, more glass block mosaic, and walls of sandblasted original brick throughout.
The house fills its lot, but there is lots of outdoor space on the roof, which is accessed through a small conservatory. The big rooftop deck has an intimate feel thanks to the waist-high parapet walls and the lush foliage all around. The deck covers only the rear half of the roof; Ken Jungwirth, the Greenbergs’ agent, says that it would be feasible to expand onto that other half, though he’s not sure if anyone ever applied for permits.
While she loves the place (particularly the rooftop), Marice Greenberg says that it’s time to move for the sake of their young daughter. “You can only ride your Barbie bike around and around in a circle up here for so long,” she says. The family hopes to move to a place with a more conventional yard.
Price Points: Data at Trulia.com shows that the average sale price of homes in Roscoe Village in the February-April period was up about 5.5 percent from the same period in 2010. The data set is small—just 45 sales, compared to about 75 a year earlier—but Trulia also says that the price-per-square-foot has not changed in a year, a sign of price stability in the neighborhood.
Listing Agent: Ken Jungwirth of @Properties; 773-398-5585