Photo: Dennis Rodkin
List Price: $1.95 million
Sale Price: $2 million
The Property: A two-story condo in the groundbreaking 860-880 Lake Shore Drive buildings that was renovated in a hyper-modern style in the early 1990s appears to have captured the highest-price record for homes in buildings by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
Known as the Stainless Steel Apartment, the condo in 860 LSD sold for $2 million. That’s $300,000 more than the runner-up, a penthouse at 880 LSD that Mies’s grandson Dirk Lohan sold last fall. And it sold fast: it went under contract just two and a half weeks after it debuted on the market in mid-April, according to Eugene Fu, the listing agent in the deal, which closed July 16.
We featured video of the home when it was newly on the market. It’s a lustrous place, filled with stainless steel, other metallic finishes, and daylight.
I’m 98 percent certain that $2 million is a record. Nothing else has sold for that price in Mies’s residential buildings in Hyde Park, Lincoln Park, and Lake View. While he built several residential buildings in Chicago, residential is not very common among his many projects around the world, and none are in New York, San Francisco or other high-priced housing markets. At the Lafayette Park homes in Detroit, an administrator told me that recent sale prices top out at about $130,000, and at the Highfield House condos in Baltimore, I found a series of sales this year at below $200,000. Early in his career, he built some handsome houses in Europe. I don’t have sale prices on any of them.
The iconic Farnsworth House sold for $7.5 million in 2003, but we can count that one out because it was already being used as a museum and continues that way under the present owners.
Now to be fair, the buyers—who aren’t yet identified in public records—didn’t only buy a Mies container, they bought the contents in it, designed by another influential architect, Ron Krueck. It’s Krueck who created the stainless steel stairs, the many built-in pieces of furniture and even the living room rug that make the home so sleek.
But this home’s $2 million pricetag isn’t a record for a Krueck design. That honor goes to a double-floor penthouse atop at the Olympia Center. We featured that way-out design when it was on the market in late 2007; in February 2008, billionaire Sam Zell bought it for $4.1 million.
I’ve never been able to find out if Zell kept the Krueck design, but given what he did to the Tribune Company, I’d guess it’s all gone.
(Tribune Company owns Chicago magazine.)
Price Points: It wasn’t multiple bidders that pushed the sale price up above the ask, Fu says: The buyer also bought the parking spaces that sellers Nancy Hornak and Eric Schwartz were offering separate from the condo.5