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A Link to Chicago’s Gilded Past Hits the Market, for $4.4 Million

The Astor Street mansion, previously owned by the Wrigley family and former mayor Carter Harrison Jr., is rich with history but thoroughly modern inside.

Chicago’s Gold Coast first earned its reputation for affluence and elegance more than a hundred years ago when such notables as the Palmer, Wrigley, and McCormick families moved there. Now a touch of that old-Chicago elegance is for sale.

The former Wrigley family mansion at 1401 North Astor Street has come on the market for $4.395 million. Renovated by the current owner, who purchased it in 2006, the 5,000-square-feet-plus brick townhouse includes four bedrooms along with four full- and three half-baths across its four levels.

The property was built in 1896, at the height of America’s Gilded Age. William Wrigley’s family owned it from 1906 through 1910 (about 10 years before Wrigley purchased the Cubs), and Carter Harrison Jr., Chicago’s mayor from 1897 to 1905 and from 1911 to 1915, once owned it as well.

More recently, Dr. Bruce Tizes bought the home in 1993, after it had been divided into apartments, and converted it back into a single-family residence. Tizes ran into neighborhood opposition over plans to add the garage and combine the home with a neighboring house he had bought, according to a 1994 Chicago Reader report, and put the house on the market in 1999, for $4.7 million. Listing data show the home last sold in 2006, for just over $3 million.

Design-wise, the home’s interior has been opened up from its original floor plan. Now, light shines through and into it thanks to an open staircase with a glass bridge and a rooftop skylight.

The first floor sports a central open kitchen and glass-floored front dining room along with a small living room and breakfast nook. A swimming pool was once under the dining room floor but has been removed to allow for a finished basement that includes a full bar and adjoining media room boasting a giant flat-screen TV.

The second floor includes a family room with a full wine refrigerator and mini-wet bar along with a guest bedroom, an office that can be converted into the fourth bedroom, and an outside deck. The third floor features the master suite and a third bedroom. The home also includes an attached two-and-a-half car garage, a rare commodity in the townhouse- and high-rise-filled neighborhood.

Its contemporary finishes make the home stand out among its Gold Coast neighbors, says Jeff Lowe, president of the Lowe Group, which is listing the home. “None of them feel like this one,” Lowe says.

As might be expected in such a house, upscale finishes and features are everywhere, including travertine and marble floors, rainforest shower systems, and lighting features that highlight various pieces of exotic stone used as accent pieces on walls throughout the home.

It’s doubtful either Wrigley or Harrison would recognize the house from the inside, but they would certainly still feel at home on the serene and tree-lined streets of the Astor Street Historic District.

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