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List Price: $2.595 million
The Property: Designed by the architect Benjamin Marshall and completed in 1912, the brick and limestone confection that is 999 North Lake Shore Drive set the tone for what would become one of Chicago’s most elegant neighborhoods: East Lake Shore Drive. About 30 years ago, Jimmy and Nancy Golding moved into a third-floor home at 999. The same family had owned that condo since the building opened, and it was, as Nancy Golding recalls, “in terrible condition.” On the upside, the gorgeous leaded-glass windows in two rear sunrooms and the stunning crown moldings and other millwork in the formal rooms were still in place.
The Goldings installed modern heat and air conditioning, and they replaced an old servants’ kitchen and a few other older rooms with a new kitchen. (The well-equipped kitchen is spacious and offers lots of storage, but a buyer might want to put in a newer version.) Otherwise, they left the place alone. “It was all so beautiful,” Nancy Golding says. “Why would I redo it?”
Today, as I note in our video, the Goldings’ library is like a small museum devoted to architect Marshall. Its plaster ceiling, deep crown molding, paneling, glass-fronted bookcases, and limestone mantel are all intact (although the paneling has been lightened from its original dark mahogany). An adjacent line of rooms spans the building’s entire 68 feet: living room, gallery, dining room, and sunroom, all looking like mementoes of Marshall’s era.
The master suite, which includes two bathrooms and a large walk-in closet, combines a few smaller original rooms. What was once an open porch is now a sitting area in a window bay more suited to the neighborhood’s current noise level. (Nearly all the porches in the neighborhood with views of Oak Street Beach have been enclosed over the years.)
Two side-by-side bedrooms, each with its own bath, open into a second sunroom, where the leaded glass windows take in the southern light. These and the leaded windows in the larger sunroom off the dining room are the only ones that remain of the building’s originals; frosted, they bring in light but block views out to the building’s surface parking lot.
The home has some great additional spaces beyond its own walls. A high floor in the building contains storage rooms for residents; the Goldings’ unit has two of them, for a total of 200 square feet that their agent, Nancy Nugent, calls an “urban basement.” The larger of the two rooms could be used as an office or exercise room. And on the roof is a large deck with two cooking stations and terrific views of Navy Pier, Lake Michigan, and Gold Coast buildings.
Price Points: A smaller condo on the same floor sold in October, for $1.25 million. It has 2,660 square feet, to this one’s 4,000, and has views only east, over the water, not north to Oak Street Beach. On Monday, a $3.575 million sale closed on a 4,500-square-foot three-bedroom unit at 219 East Lake Shore Drive. The first of those sales went for $469 a square foot; the second—a closer comparison to the Goldings’ unit in size—went for $794. The Goldings are asking $648 per square foot.