List Price: $1,990,000
Sale Price: $1,725,000
The Property: There’s nothing half-apsed about this condominium in a converted, cruciform-shaped Catholic church in Wilmette. The 3,662-square-foot residence fills the entire third floor of the semicircular space that was once the church’s apse—or head of the cross—as well as its transepts: that is, the two arms of the cross, each graced with a tall, arched window. A dining room occupies one arm; the master bedroom, the other. The apse has been transformed into a…

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Sale of the Week—Real Cathedral Ceilings in Wilmette

List Price: $1,990,000
Sale Price: $1,725,000
The Property: There’s nothing half-apsed about this condominium in a converted, cruciform-shaped Catholic church in Wilmette. The 3,662-square-foot residence fills the entire third floor of the semicircular space that was once the church’s apse—or head of the cross—as well as its transepts: that is, the two arms of the cross, each graced with a tall, arched window. A dining room occupies one arm; the master bedroom, the other. The apse has been transformed into a…


This photo from 2005 shows the interior of church, with the far end, upper half, now this condo.

Light shines in from stained glass windows into what is now the living room.

The other end of the church, including the choir loft, is now filled by other condos.

List Price: $1,990,000
Sale Price: $1,725,000
The Property: There’s nothing half-apsed about this condominium in a converted, cruciform-shaped Catholic church in Wilmette. The 3,662-square-foot residence fills the entire third floor of the semicircular space that was once the church’s apse—or head of the cross—as well as its transepts: that is, the two arms of the cross, each graced with a tall, arched window. A dining room occupies one arm; the master bedroom, the other. The apse has been transformed into a large living room that opens onto a terrace. In some parts of the condo, the ceilings soar thirty feet above the floor. A brilliant stained-glass sunburst crowns the condo’s fireplace.

The condo is part of Mallinckrodt in the Park, a 17-acre property in Wilmette (on Ridge Road, north of Lake Avenue) that began in 1918 as a convent and college. The creamy brick and limestone façade, the massive stone entry, and the peaked bell tower made the Italian Renaissance structure an important local landmark. In the 1990s, Mallinckrodt College became part of Loyola University, which in 2001 announced plans to sell the college campus. A year later, the Wilmette Park District bought the property; it held on to the wooded grounds and sold off the structure to Pickus Group and Oculus Development, which undertook a wholesale renovation of the place.

In making the conversion to condos, Pickus and Oculus preserved most of the church’s original architectural elements and ornate detailing, which can be seen here in these photos I took in 2005, when the overhaul had just begun. Two other condos share the apse space below this condominium; other units in the former church contain pillars, arches, and even the choir loft. Elsewhere in the 70-year-old, 180,000-square-foot building, the developers carved new residential spaces from former classrooms and the nuns’ modest sleeping quarters. They ultimately created a total of 80 condos, all reserved for people 60 years and older, with Wilmette residents getting first dibs.

Price Points: The condo’s sale price of $1.725 million is in the heavens compared to other sales in Wilmette. The highest price on record for a condo there had been $1.225 million; until now, that unit, sold in 2005, had been one of only three Wilmette condos listed by Midwest Real Estate Data as having sold for $1 million or more (all three were in the same high-rise overlooking Lake Michigan). The Mallinckrodt sale closed May 12th. I was unable to identify the name of the buyer in public records.

Listing Agent: Brant Booker and Jim Murrin of Koenig & Strey GMAC, (312) 642-1400

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