Light-Filled Townhouse in the Clybourn Corridor
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List Price: $1.295 million
The Property: Late in the 1980s, as the Clybourn Corridor was making its transformation from industrial area to vibrant urban neighborhood, a long block of townhouses was built on Maud Avenue, which parallels Clybourn Avenue.
One of those townhouses was renovated a decade later by the architecture firm Krueck + Sexton, with an emphasis on brightening the interior with glass and daylight—elements that later defined the architects’ Spertus Institute on Michigan Avenue. Another decade later, in 2009, the townhouse got a lively new kitchen, with sharp looks and high-end appliances. Those incremental steps lead to today, where the home boasts a very desirable and walkable location, terrific light with an architectural pedigree, and an inviting kitchen.
The Krueck + Sexton renovation emphasized lightness, with fritted glass railing panels around the second-floor overlook to the foyer (itself topped by big vaulted skylight); a floating glass shelf that runs the length of the living and dining rooms; and a slender stone mantel set out from the wall as if it’s a flat-screen TV (with only one option: The Fireplace Channel). The architects slimmed down the stairway handrails and a freestanding wall next to the dining room, all in the service of making the space feel weightless. The kitchen and breakfast room open via tall glass doors onto a secluded deck, and in the basement is a large family room and a bedroom that is now used as an exercise room.
On the second floor, the architects interrupted the glass railing with what from the foyer looks like a floating box; it’s actually cabinetry serving the large office above the living room. The office could be turned into a private bedroom by adding a wall, says the listing agent, Carol Duran. There’s a second bedroom on this floor; each bedroom has its own attached bath.
Alone on the third floor is the master suite, which combines a marble bath with a very large bedroom that opens onto a deck nearly its same size. From that deck, the view takes in the trees that fill this once-gritty neighborhood.
Price Points: The home’s seller, Wayne Schwartzman, has owned the place since 1998; he oversaw both rounds of renovation. He has relocated to another state. He had the townhouse on the market, with Duran as agent, in 2010, asking $1.495 million. It was off the market for a while before coming back on in the fall, at the present asking price. Four neighboring townhouses have sold in the past year-plus for between $1.175 million—for a unit on the other side of the street that backs up on retail—and $1.299 million. None of them “had the design elements you see here,” Duran says.