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This Wildly Imaginative Mansion in West Town Sold for $2.4 Million

The 95-year-old industrial garage has been a delightfully warped modernist dwelling for 16 years.

The 35-foot-tall skylit dining corridor, with glass garage door to the walled-in front courtyard.   Photo: Ian Spula

List Price: $2,795,000

Sale Price: $2,350,000

A 9,000-square-foot wonderland on Ohio Street in Noble Square built by gutsy restaurateur Jerry Kleiner (Carnivale)  has sold for $2.35 million after nearly four years of on-and-off listing. It is a new record high sale for Noble Square and all of West Town apart from Wicker Park. In 1998, Kleiner shaped his mansion from a former industrial garage, and it has been locally famous for its eight-foot-tall curbside planter, high-walled courtyard, front yard putting green, and eccentric interiors.

Kleiner’s creation seamlessly blends French deco, American modern, and surrealism. He’s kept the interiors fresh and exciting by gut renovating the home not once but twice, and rotating furnishings in and out. The two major renovations combined took almost two years to complete. After eight years with his family in the space, he revamped the interiors in 2007 to something close to what they are now. “Restaurants are a very tricky business,” says Kleiner. “You have to cater them to your personality and always put your best foot forward in style and concept. I treated my home the same.”

Appropriately, the home’s primary entrance is through an industrial-sized kitchen. The checkered floor is the zany element here, but the scale of this facility would terrify any novice cook. Beyond the kitchen are a sequence of oversized lounge spaces, the master bedroom, and the main dining corridor (can’t even call it a room). In warm weather, an all-glass garage door opens to connect the 35-foot-tall corridor with the courtyard. The 2007 renovation brought in much of the custom woodwork, trim, and French doors (there isn’t a single door on a single hinge that will fill the home’s wide interior doorways). I could go on and on listing interior treatments, but my post from last May already does that for you.

The property contains four bedrooms and three bathrooms, but there’s such a surplus of living space that the buyer (not yet identified in public records) could feasibly double these counts.

Kleiner lives most of the year in California with his wife, but kept his local property for seasonal stints in Chicago. They raised three kids on Ohio Street and are happy their infant daughter got a chance to experience the home for a few months. There may be another, smaller home in the cards but this one is just too big. “It was an incredible time and I’m excited for another family to get to enjoy it.”

Joseph Gasbarra of Coldwell Banker represented both sides of the transaction.

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