As deep-pocketed house hunters know, seven-figure listings have come back with a vengeance on the South Side as well as the North. In Hyde Park, eight such properties are currently for sale, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s enormous Isidore H. Heller House (5132 South Woodlawn Ave.). Two homes lie just a few blocks south, opposite the University of Chicago campus; both hit the market in early April.
The larger and cheaper of the two, at 5641 South Woodlawn, belongs to U. of C. law professor Edward Rust Morrison, who paid $1.6 million for the 4,500-square-foot five-bedroom in 2012. The $2.2 million asking price is a big leap in two years, but Morrison did considerable restoration of the brawny foursquare’s interior: pristine vintage built-ins, a glass-enclosed family room, a designer kitchen with breakfast nook, and a renovated attic with skylight.
One block up, lawyer Laurie Burgess has listed her grand Georgian, also a five-bedroom, at $2.3 million. The place is as notable for its past residents as for its harmonious architecture. Nobel Prize–winning physicist Enrico Fermi lived here in the early 1940s while supervising construction of Chicago Pile-1, the world’s first artificial nuclear reactor, under the university’s old football stadium.
When Burgess bought the place in 2001 for $815,000, it remained pretty much as Fermi had known it. “The house hadn’t been touched since 1948,” she says, “so I gave it a total restoration.” One highlight: a library on the third floor with coffered ceilings and a working fireplace.