Photo: Dennis Rodkin
List Price: $2.395 million
Sale Price: $2.05 million
The Property: This crazy contemporary home—whose outside is a riot of angles and whose interior matches that with wild lines and over-the-top finishes—had been for sale for eight years by the time it sold August 30. Take a peek at the bird-beak overhang on the stucco facade, the collage-like fireplace and chimney in the center of the living space, and the staircase that looks a lot more precarious than it really is, and you can tell why.
The asking price was $3.799 million in the summer of 2007, when I wrote about the house; at the time it had been on and off the market for two years already. And from that visit, I can testify: The staircase is a little bit unnerving. It looks like it’s barely there. But of course it meets building codes and did actually support my ever-increasing weight.
Seller Michael Adamczyk told me that he and his wife, Ursula Star-Adamczyk, both physicians, were selling in order to move to Milwaukee because of the then-scandalous increases in the cost of medical malpractice insurance in Illinois.
The couple had bought the double lot just off Clybourn for $300,000 in 1991 and built the house the next year, tapping architect Wojciech Bialy for the design. They wanted something “very contemporary, very open,” Adamczyk told me.
(Coincidentally, I ran across another of Bialy’s off-kilter designs the next year: A home in Lincolnwood that looked like it was being squeezed so hard its middle was about to pop out.)
For all its zaniness, the 8,000-square-foot house has some strong assets. Among them, a lot that’s more than twice the norm: 52 by 125 feet. (The city standard is 25 by 125.) The living room ceiling is 24 feet high. There’s an attached four-car garage. And on the rear, facing south, is a complex of decks on six different levels that gives you all kinds of options for where to bask in the sun.
You can see from my pictures below that the rear of the house is a festival of stucco and handrails. It’s matched indoors by the master bath’s cacophony of stone, curves, and angles, seen in the listing photos.
Koenig & Strey’s Natasha Motev was the fourth agent on the house, and the one who finally got it sold. She asked me, “Can you believe how long it was on the market?” The buyers—whom she would not name and who aren’t identified yet in public records—were “ecstatic about it,” Motev says.
I couldn’t reach the Adamczyks.
Price Points: When the asking price came down to $2.395 million last November, Motev says, “it became a great value for a double lot in Lincoln Park. You really can’t find a double lot for the price.” Are the buyers planning to tear the house down and build something new on the lot? “I don’t think so,” she said. “They had it inspected like they were going to live in it.”
12 months ago