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List Price: $1.85 million
The Property: Although it’s now jammed with strollers and baby boutiques, west Lincoln Park wasn’t nearly as family-friendly 20 years ago, when Jonathan Peabody and Lindsey Stewart decided they didn’t want to move to the suburbs to raise their kids.
“But we did want a suburban-like house,” Lindsey explains. The family found good raw material in a pre-Fire home on a quiet block. The brick home, built in 1870, is on a corner lot, so it’s both extra-wide and graced with daylight, as you will see in today’s video. The width gave them some things they wanted, notably wider rooms and a wider main hallway than old city houses usually have; there was also space for a custom-built bar area adjacent to the dining room. But because the home had been chopped into five apartments and then later recombined into three, the couple largely had to start from scratch on the inside.
So virtually everything inside that looks historical was in fact introduced over the last 20 years. That includes the stained-glass transom over the front door, the pillars framing entries to the main formal rooms, and the pendulous chandelier in the dining room. It doesn’t include the hardwood floors in two second-floor bedrooms; those probably date to the home’s construction.
In the back half of the first floor, what used to be one complete apartment is now a suburban-scaled combination of kitchen, breakfast, and family rooms, 825 square feet in all. There are cabinets and countertops enough to fill any suburban want list. Large windows face the vintage brick buildings on the street, and French doors open onto a terrace and garden area.
On the second floor is a pair of bedrooms—the ones with the antique floors—an office, and, at the rear, a guest suite with big windows on two sides, a sitting area, and a large bathroom. More family space is in the basement, which the couple excavated to make livable and filled with what Stewart calls “a fifties-style rec room where your kids can go down and make whatever mess they want.”
In the master suite on the third floor is evidence of the way the renovation preserved the home’s original character while making way for a modern lifestyle. The couple popped up the roof of the former attic but set it back from the gabled façade so the view from the sidewalk would be unchanged. Beneath the old gable is a low-ceilinged sitting area; the rest of the room has the higher ceiling of the new roofline. The master suite, which also has a dressing area and a large bathroom, occupies only about half the third floor; behind it, with a separate entrance from the street, is the one remaining rental unit.
Price Points: Lindsey Stewart is a real-estate agent and is representing the house. She says that the third-floor apartment is “under-rented” now at $1,900 a month; she and her husband have kept the rent at about $300 below the market rate because their tenants have had to put up with showings of the property and the uncertainty of who the next landlords will be. That monthly brings in $22,800 a year, more than enough to cover the home’s $19,000 property tax bill. (Of course, the new owners could opt to turn the rental into an extension of the master suite.) The home first went on the market last year at $2.2 million, but the couple later took it off for half a year. It came back on the market in March at $2 million, later dropped to $1.9 million, and on Monday came down to $1.85 million.