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List Price: $1,599,000
Sale Price: $1,550,000
The Property: The rich Edwardian detail of this new Roscoe Village house sets it apart from its contemporaries in the neighborhood. There’s the Mary Poppins–impression of the façade, with headboards and shutters adorning the windows, a slate-shingled gable front, and a pair of fluted Doric columns flanking the front door. The layers of detail continue inside: in the living room, with a row of five Ionic columns between stained-glass panels displaying a Greek key pattern; in the staircase, with a wood-trimmed half-moon cutout in the wall; in the third-floor master suite, with a fireplace that resembles a four-poster bed and an iron-railed balcony tucked beneath the front roof; and even in the basement, where the floor is a warm, soft cork.
Liz and Greg Moore already had an offer in on a different house in Roscoe Village when, wandering around on the Internet during a Christmas with relatives in Pennsylvania, Greg happened across pictures of this house, which had just gone on the market. They arranged to look at the place on New Year’s Eve. “We’d been here 20 minutes when we made an offer,” says Liz, the development director of an Oak Park adoption organization. (Greg is a bonds trader.) On New Year’s Day, the couple struck a deal with the builders, and on January 29th, the sale closed.
What prompted their quick action? They had seen “so many houses that all looked the same and had the same floor plan—and then we saw this, which was completely different,” Liz says. Here, the architect Lawrence Thomas (of Hamen Architects) created a completely different layout. The second floor has four bedrooms split into two pairs—one in the front of the house, the other in the rear—that share a bathroom and other features. The master suite occupies the entire third floor—about 1,000 square feet—and includes a sitting room and a large master bath. The house has a big family room several steps down from the kitchen, and that connects to the garage on the alley—meaning this is the rare new Chicago house with an attached garage.
Price Points: Thomas, the architect, and his partner, Walter Chambers, bought the greystone three-flat that previously sat on this site. They retained two of its main walls and the floor of the third level. That meant they could then create a new three-story house; without those existing walls, codes would have limited a new house to two stories. The extra floor gave them the luxury of pushing the master suite up one from the usual bedroom floor. The ground-level family room also created a big indoor space that many new houses can’t provide. In all, Liz Moore estimates that the house has about 600 square feet more space than the many other homes she and her husband looked at in this price range. My experience, and a survey of neighborhood records on the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois, suggests she’s right.
Listing Agents: Kim Hamburg (312-440-7512) and David Panozzo (773-616-4198), both of Coldwell Banker