List Price: $1.08 million
Sale Price: $975,000
The Property: From the street, this house, built in 1886 in Old Town, is unassuming. It’s no visual competition for its neighbors on the block, including the zany and eccentric Carl Street Studios or the suave riff on Art Deco at Theophil Studios.
But inside, all there is to say is, Wow. Take a minute to look at the listing photos below that the selling agent, Eugene Fu, provided.
Designed by the architect Paul Florian and the recent seller, John-Mark Horton, the interior is a minimalist composition of white plaster walls and the geometric arrangements of the windows and their muntins. The tile patterns in the bathroom floors are tributes to the crazy-quilt tiling that the artists Edgar Miller and Jesus Torres used throughout the Carl Street Studios
Horton, who bought the house in 2007, is an interior designer whose work has been mentioned in Architectural Digest. He once told Interior Design magazine that, with homes in Chicago, Indiana, and France, he was “over-domiciled.”
Fu says Horton “went through Europe and found every fixture for this home. The light fixtures are all original French Deco, not reproductions, and the doors are Spanish barn doors, from the 18th century, I think.” (In our conversation, Fu did not identify Horton as the seller.)
In the Interior Design article, the writer, Jay Pridmore (who’s also done work for Chicago), described the 2,150-square-foot interior as “a sculpture of endlessly flowing curves and planes . . . a place, Florian says, for ‘sleekness and luminosity to collide with a lot of rustic components.’”
The house has a two-story dining room, a walled garden, a rooftop terrace, three fireplaces, and the deed to a garage next door. It does have one drawback that Fu says hindered its selling: The master bedroom is on the third floor, and the only other bedrooms are a pair in the basement. “It’s not a family-friendly home,” Fu says. “Anybody looking to buy this wasn’t going to use it as a family home. This home is a Ferrari, and you don’t strap a baby seat into a Ferrari.”
Fu says that his client had intended to use the Old Town house as his primary residence, but “he’s spending more time in Europe now and found himself not utilizing this home.”
Price Points: According to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, Horton paid $457,500 for the property in 2007. He initially listed it for sale with a different agent in July 2009, asking $1.53 million, and several price reductions followed. When Fu got the listing, in April of this year, the price started at $1.2 million; it came down in June to $1.08 million. Public records do not indicate what Horton spent on the renovation, but Fu says “my client had considerably more than $975,000 in this home. [The buyer] got a fantastic deal.” He would not identify the buyer, whose name is not yet in public records.