The Marshall Plan, Gold Coast
For a closer look at the house, launch the photo gallery »
List Price: $3.175 million
The Property: Once known as the Stewart Apartments, 1200 North Lake Shore Drive is a Gold Coast classic. Designed by Benjamin Marshall and completed in 1913, it has a neoclassical Adam-style façade and offers, from its upper floors, spectacular views toward Lake Michigan. The grand apartments—each of the ten upper ten floors once contained a single five-bedroom residence (plus room for the help)—were later chopped into smaller ones. But in the past few decades, the furniture gallery owners Floyd and Rita Bucheit reassembled three smaller units into a 4,000-square-foot top-floor home divided into three main wings. The south-facing wing has two bedrooms (each with an en-suite bathroom), the north wing is a long kitchen-dining-family room combination, and the east wing strings together three formal rooms (with large crown moldings, wood floors, and decorative ceiling framing) and a master bedroom suite. According to Janet Owen, the agent representing the home, Floyd Bucheit calls the panoramic lake view beyond the tall, east-facing windows “Chicago’s best television.” He and his wife are moving to a smaller home.
As you will see in the video, the view inside is nice as well, with high ceilings, a Deco-style fireplace mantel, and the building’s signature bow windows in the salon or rotunda room. Here, it’s easy to summon Marshall’s original vision for the building, which was so refined that, on his plans, he labeled the rooms in French (e.g., le petit salon).
The Bucheits, who also have homes and galleries in other cities, have lived in the building since 1987, starting out in a small rear apartment and later assembling this 12th-floor home. The surgery is still visible in at least one way: apart from the main kitchen, installed by the Bucheits, there is a smaller one, a remnant of one of the old apartments. Owen says that the arrangement works well for caterers because it’s adjacent to the large living room on the home’s southeast corner, but she suggests that it could be converted into a wine room, a small office, or some other use. She also notes that the family room is deep enough to partition off space for a fourth bedroom.
Price Points: A similarly sized condo on the building’s fifth floor sold in January 2010 for $2.6 million. Owen notes that it is lower in the building that today’s property and doesn’t share much of the premium eastern view because it spans the south face of the building. Only its living room has east-facing windows, while this condo’s four main rooms all look east—and from considerably higher up. The building is undergoing some exterior renovation, but a buyer won’t be responsible for any of the special assessments paying for the update; the Bucheits—who, Owen says, are moving to a smaller home—have already paid this condo’s $288,000 share in full.