List Price: $1.2 million
The Property: This foreclosed house is different from most—and not just because of the distinctly 1980s look of the geometrical stucco panels on the exterior or the pipe handrails and cutout fireplace inside. The other difference is that Brickyard Bank, the lender that took back the house last year, completely rehabbed the property before putting it back on the market, rather than following the usual game plan and selling the place “as is.”
Built in 1987 from a design by Pappageorge Haymes, the four-bedroom house sits well back on its lot, giving it a big front yard but nothing in the back. All the main living spaces are on the second floor, where there is lots of stepping up and down, typical of the complicated postmodern designs of the period. A half-round balcony projects out from the second-floor family room; at the back of the house, the big living room has an array of high windows, skylights, and interior windows. On the third floor, the master bedroom has a sitting room that’s about five steps lower than the main sleeping area.
In addition to moving the main entry from the back of the house to the front, the rehab made over the entire 11-room interior, installing, among other things, new cabinets and fixtures. Steve McEwen, the agent for the property, says that the exterior, originally colored gray and purple, used to look even more like a Miami Vice set. It’s now two shades of gray.
Price Points: According to Cook County records, Mary Nissenson, a local CBS 2 reporter and sometime guest host on the Today show, bought the house in April 1999. Those records don’t reveal what Nissenson paid, but shortly thereafter she took out a $671,250 mortgage on the property. Nissenson left television news after plastic surgery to her face left her with painful and debilitating complications. (Chicago wrote about Nissenson’s ordeal in its December 1998 issue, but the article is not archived on the magazine’s website.) In 2005, Nissenson got a new mortgage on the house for $1.04 million, but in June 2007 Brickyard Bank began the process of foreclosing, according to information from the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. The bank took over the house in July 2008 and, according to McEwen, decided that a full rehab was in order. I was unable to track down Nissenson for comment.
Listing Agent: Steve McEwen of @Properties, 312-307-9470; firstname.lastname@example.org