Two-flats see a lot of turnover. Renters come and go. Even when they’re converted to condos, folks don’t always stay around forever. There are exceptions, of course — but few like the Dutch gabled building at 1334 West Arthur Avenue in Rogers Park, which has been in the same family since it was built in 1920.
On the market at $888,000 and now a seven-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath single-family residence, the brick and limestone beauty has been home to rheumatologist Patrick Schuette and his wife, attorney Dolores Dohm, since 1976. Chicago Daily News correspondent Oswald Francis Schuette, Patrick’s grandfather, had bought the building for his parents, who lived upstairs with their two daughters and rented out the lower unit. When the last unmarried daugher died, Patrick’s father asked newlyweds Patrick and Dolores to move in.
The couple settled on the top floor, while Dolores’s sisters lived downstairs. Although they didn’t convert the property to a single-family home until eight years ago, the building has always functioned that way. “We’ve had nieces and nephews living here. My sister was here with her family,” says Dolores. “Everybody was up and down. Even when there were two kitchens, dinner could be anywhere.”
To turn the building into a single, 3,215-square-foot dwelling, Patrick and Dolores expanded the downstairs kitchen by taking out a bedroom. Upstairs, they converted the dining room into a second master bedroom. While the redo sports such modern niceties as heated marble bathroom floors and a walk-in pantry with Brazilian granite countertops, period details shine through. The house is rich in oak and mahogany millwork. Latticed leaded-glass windows lend an Old World character. A two-flat vibe still lingers, but this home is ready for generations of a new family.