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List Price: $3.35 million
The Property: On a block in Lincoln Park, things are really headed up. Over the past year, two neighboring houses have sold for more than $4 million each, and across the street, the last remaining old-time eyesore is now undergoing extensive rehab.
Now this newly completed house offers visitors to the block lots of reasons to look up. It starts with the façade, a brick and limestone composition that draws the eye up from a sunken garden near the sidewalk, past a gleaming copper bay to a slate mansard roof whose dormered windows are topped with classical trim.
Inside, there are even more reasons to look up. At the very top of the house is a lozenge-shaped skylight that illuminates the home’s three stories and its basement, as well as the staircase that is the centerpiece of the house. As Andy Bowyer—his Middlefork Development built the house—explains in today’s video, he emphasized that feature because “in the city, you’re going to be living vertically anyway, so you might as well dress up the stairs.”
At the second-floor level, the stair landing widens to become what Bowyer calls an “opera balcony” overlooking a two-story dining room. The third floor has an open-air terrace in the middle—instead of a more common back-of-the-house rooftop deck—whose glass doors provide additional light above the stairs.
Making the dining room two stories high gave Bowyer a chance to do a couple of things at once: bring daylight into the room via upper-level windows, while also keeping the lower part of the wall free for displaying art. The living room, with a normal-height ceiling, gets its drama from the big bay of windows on the front, extensive wood moldings, and a large stone fireplace. From there, the space flows into the dining room and on through a butler’s pantry to the great room, which combines kitchen, informal dining, and family room areas.
The kitchen is a delight, from the glittering backsplashes and bluestone countertops to the large central island and a pair of refrigerators tucked inside what appears to be an oversized armoire. Standing at the island’s prep sink, a cook looks past the dining and family areas to the rear terrace. And here’s another way the house picks up: because this block’s alley is sunken (for some foggy historical reason), the garage roof is lower than in many city settings. So the home’s back doors lead straight out to one raised terrace, with the main terrace, on the garage roof, up just a few steps. That makes the casual indoor and outdoor spaces flow together comfortably.
On the second floor, the master suite benefits from that two-story dining room. The open space at the middle of the floor divides it into the main master suite—with a bedroom, master bath, walk-in dressing room, and private balcony—and a secondary space at the front of the house that could be part of the master (a study, nursery, or workout room) or a separate suite. It has its own bedroom.
The top floor has three bedrooms, two on one side of the open-air terrace and one in front. There is another bedroom in the basement, along with a stylish ash-finish bar and kitchen. From there, it’s just a short walk out to the rear terraces, which both look up at the home’s brick back façade.
Price Points: Bowyer bought the 24-by-125-foot lot in 2008, at the nadir of the new-construction market, for $760,000. A few years before, he says, it might have gone for just over $1 million. His purchases of steeply discounted or foreclosed sites have been a linchpin in his ability to bring in high-end homes at competitive prices, he says.