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List Price: $935,000
The Property: On a quintessential Bucktown corner, several onetime storefronts have been converted into residences over the years. Among them is a one-story brick building that may have once been a furniture store and warehouse. Though a contemporary wood façade now fills most of the building’s former window space, sunlight still pours into the home’s 575-square-foot living room from a clerestory floating 20 feet overheard. About one-third the dimensions of the room itself and rising above the vintage tin ceiling that covers the rest of the space, the opening is too big to be called a skylight. Brad Lippitz, the agent selling this space for his brother, Jon, calls it the “glass ceiling.”
The living room has vintage wood floors, exposed brick walls, and a small raised stage at one end. Behind it is a bedroom and a full bath, and then behind that is another space nearly as big as the living room; it’s divided into a dining room, a study, a media room, and an eat-in kitchen raised a few steps above the main floor. The spaces there are more intimate; the dining room nestles beneath a lowered ceiling, and the gourmet-outfitted kitchen manages to be both a part of and apart from the others. In the back half of the house, light comes from windows and from numerous conventionally sized skylights.
The second floor is a large, lofted master bedroom, with one side open to the living spaces below; there’s a bathroom with a wall-less shower and a sauna. A spiral staircase leads to the rooftop deck.
There’s a lot of interior space since, as Lippitz notes, the old commercial structure was built lot line to lot line on its 24-by-100-foot lot. And because the home is largely loft style, the spaces could be reassigned to different uses. Building a few new walls, for instance, could expand the home from its present two-bedroom layout. (A third bedroom used to take up part of what’s now the living room, sharing a bath with the remaining first-floor bedroom).
Among the upgrades done by Jon Lippitz, a doctor, is a shelving wall in the study that he built by hand. He also had plans drawn up for an off-alley garage in the basement, and he’s selling those plans with the house. With a mix of materials old and new and a unique floor plan, “it’s a space that defies convention,” Brad Lippitz says. “It was artists’ space for years, and it has the furniture-store history and the things [my brother] has done. So now it’s got a great, unique energy to it.”
Price Points: Jon Lippitz is moving to the northern suburbs; he listed the home with Brad Lippitz last September, asking $985,000. In January, he cut that to $935,000.