Almost every major city has a Martin Luther King Drive, but none are as storied as Bronzeville’s. Watching the Bud Billiken Parade from the top-floor bay window of an 1881 home offers a view of the community’s past, present, and future.
The recently sold home at 4243 South King Drive sits on an architecturally significant stretch of attached greystones — one of the few areas in Bronzeville that is historically intact and resembles what it looked like more than a century ago. A black iron fence leads to a covered porch with intricate limestone details. Large double arches highlight the façade. But the house’s Romanesque exterior is where its strict adherence to the past ends. The five-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath interior has been extensively renovated.
The current owner, real estate agent Alex Mihaila, purchased the building in January as a turnaround. He remodeled the kitchen with sleek white cabinetry and created a spa-worthy master bath suite with a freestanding tub and step-in shower surrounded by marble floors and walls. He also turned the basement into an entertainment hub with a wet bar and built-in wine cooler.
Modern and classic mesh well. Bay windows, soaring ceilings and two thick columns in the foyer all nod to the house’s history. No walls separate the main-level rooms: A front parlor flows seamlessly into a living room with a gas fireplace, followed by the dining room and an oversize kitchen. Contemporary touches include wide-plank engineered floors, custom trim, stainless steel appliances, trendy light fixtures and quartz countertops.
Bronzeville may have had its cultural renaissance in the early 20th century, stemming from the Great Migration, but its renovated greystones are now experiencing a revival of their own.