Chicago has the world’s biggest collection of buildings designed by Mies van der Rohe, so it should come as no surprise that home shoppers have plenty of options to buy in one of the midcentury high-rises designed by the minimalist master. And fortunately for fans of Mies modernism, there are available listings that fit nearly every budget.
For those looking to learn more about Mies and his legacy in the Chicago area, the Elmhurst Art Museum will be celebrating the restoration and June reopening of the Mies-designed McCormick House by featuring a fully packed summer calendar of special programming and events. Film buffs will also be pleased to hear that a movie about the relationship between Mies and Dr. Edith Farnsworth of Farnsworth House fame is rumored to be in the works.
Here’s a snapshot of just some of the residences currently for sale in Mies’ modernist towers.
880 N. Lake Shore Drive #22D, $265,000
While it’s not the least expensive Mies residence currently listed for sale in Chicago, this Lake Shore Drive corner unit (pictured above) in the historic 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments is more or less the entry point for a one-bedroom. With sprawling views of Lake Michigan and a prime Streeterville location, the development is noted for being Mies’ first high-rise project with exposed structural steel beams. The catch is the steep co-op assessment of $1,379 per month.
880 N. Lake Shore Drive #9C, $369,000
Incredible Lake Michigan views is a common theme in Mies-designed towers in Chicago, considering that the architect’s best known residential high-rise projects were built along the lakefront. Once again, you’re getting fabulous sightlines from every angle, however, the interiors of this one-bedroom are equally as pleasing to the eye. It’s no surprise that the unit’s overhaul was honored with a citation of merit during AIA Chicago’s 2017 Small Projects Awards.
330 W. Diversey Parkway #2102, $499,000
If you prefer the Lincoln Park and Lakeview area, there are options in the unmistakably midcentury Commonwealth Promenade Apartments along Diversey Parkway. The listing notes indicate that the nearly 1,500-square-foot unit was previously a three-bedroom that has been converted to a two-bedroom with a large, open living room and dining room area. Everything is nice and brand new here and the $1,157 assessment is more manageable than the ones found in downtown co-ops.
860 N. Lake Shore Drive #19J, $525,000
This three-bedroom corner unit checks off a lot of boxes. It’s stylishly contemporary yet minimal, staying true to its roots as an early example of Mies’ residential work. What isn’t minimalist is the upscale finishes and an open floor plan spanning 1,600 square feet of living space—offering room for flexibility and creativity in arranging and entertaining. As a co-op, the monthly dues are pricey, but the $2,410 bill covers property taxes, parking, most utilities, and all building amenities.
910 N. Lake Shore Drive #820, $525,000
Once again, you’re going to find tall windows, an open floor plan, and minimalistic finishes, but this lakefront unit boasts a terrific location and reasonable monthly assessment of $972. Located on the eighth floor, the space overlooks the bustling Streeterville neighborhood and is just a short walk to popular attractions such as Oak Street Beach and Michigan Avenue.
860 N. Lake Shore Drive #7JK, $1.45 million
If your budget is at or just under $1.5 million, this sprawling 3,500-square-foot residence at the landmark 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments should provide an idea of what can be had at in that price range. Expect high-end finishes and breathtaking views—at this price point, these items are mandatory. But there’s also plenty of room for guests and entertaining in this posh midcentury pad.