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Kenwood’s Magerstadt House Sells Without Going On Sale

Sale Price: $2.325 million
The Property: The Magerstadt House, a Prairie school landmark ornamented with a poppy motif, a gold-leaf mural, and other distinctive details specified by the Chicago architect George Maher, hadn’t even been on the market when it was sold on April 30th…

Magerstadt house in Kenwood

List Price: N/A

Sale Price: $2.325 million

The Property: The Magerstadt House, a Prairie school landmark ornamented with a poppy motif, a gold-leaf mural, and other distinctive details specified by the Chicago architect George Maher, hadn’t even been on the market when it was sold on April 30th.

In early April, Stephen Parker, a MetroPro agent, was showing homes to some clients who are relocating to Kenwood from California, but nothing quite clicked for them. Parker lives in a nearby home designed by Maher, “and my enthusiasm for Maher certainly came through,” he says. He took his clients past the Magerstadt House, which he considers “the jewel of Kenwood,” and pretty soon they were making an offer on it.

Robert Sullivan of Urban Search says that the residents of the house “had been talking about selling it on and off for some time,” so they accepted the offer. Public records identify the sellers as Daniel and Stephanie Aucunas (he’s a retired Chicago Mercantile Exchange trader). According to Sullivan, the couple has restored three other historical Kenwood homes. They bought the Magerstadt House in 1998 for $850,000, according to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, and undertook a renovation that included stripping paint from the home’s millwork and adding a new section in back. Sullivan says that when Parker’s clients made an offer, the Aucunuses opted to move a block away into one of their projects, which is for sale.

Completed the same year that Maher was devising a master plan for the Northwestern University campus, the Magerstadt House sits sideways on its deep, narrow lot, with the front door facing what is now the driveway. Visible from the street is a rectangular side porch whose pillars sport carved poppies. The poppies show up again in the house’s original moldings, mosaics, and windows, as well as in a replica iron gate on the sidewalk. The 13-room house has six bedrooms (one in the basement), five-plus baths, and three fireplaces. With much of its vintage detail intact and restored, and its up-to-date mechanical systems and bathrooms, the house is, says Sullivan, “one of a kind.”

Price Points: Because it was in prime condition when sold, the Magerstadt House indicates the actual market value of the historical mansions in “Obama-wood,” the neighborhood around President Obama’s Chicago home, which is one block south of the Magerstadt House. The recent buyers of the house next door to the Obamas—the plastic surgeon George Moynihan and his wife, Laura—paid $1.4 million for that residence, but must now invest in a total rehab of the somewhat shabby interior.

Listing Agent: Robert Sullivan of Urban Search; 773-793-0458 or rsullivan@urbansearchrealty.com 

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