Sometime in the 1970s, a conventional 1910 apartment block in the cozy Margate Park section of Uptown (Lawrence to Foster Avenues, on the lakefront) took on an all new appearance with a metal frame rising from brick legs. The new aesthetic brought duplexed condo units and a nod to alpine housing with stacked corner balconies in the trees. The snazziest of the building’s six units is a third floor duplex with five outdoor spaces and a ski lodge-like living room open to the circumferential second level. It is on the market for $389,000.
The interior dimensions, rightly or not, are readily associated with modernist proportions: rooms and corridors long and low, broad stairs, and open, combined living areas. Retro touches like the central stucco fireplace, cedar-clad front balcony, and wooden railings enclosing the second level are great stylistic complements, but this place isn’t frozen in time. The sellers invested heavily in their kitchen—also with double-height ceiling and boasting a penny mosaic backsplash—in their bathrooms, and their windows, and doors. The paint job and hardwood floors are also in tip-top shape.
The living room, better thought of as a great room with its dining and entertaining districts, is a feast for the eyes upon entering the unit. The wall of exposed brick that cuts through first and second levels and the patches of electric blue paint at the corner of each level makes you think you’re seeing double. The dining area is nestled under an overhang with lines of inset lighting, and the kitchen is beyond with a walk-in pantry and the smallest of the outdoor spaces—the designated grilling space.
All of the bedrooms and baths (two and two) are off a hallway tucked behind the staircase. The bedrooms have similar medium-sized dimensions and both have outdoor access. The master bathroom has a whirlpool tub.
Speaking of outdoors, the back end of the unit features a sizeable roof deck. This astroturfed zone takes up only half of the unit’s roof rights, so great potential lies ahead. The front end, however, has the more private outdoor spaces: two even-sized stacked balconies in the trees. The main level’s balcony is inset, wood-paneled, and makes a great warm weather dining area, while the upper balcony is a nest ideal for snoozing and sunbathing.
The sellers bought at the wrong time—January 2007. They paid $385,000 and are now asking just $4,000 more. The property does come with attached garage parking and a sensible monthly assessment of $415.
The home is at the end of Margate Terrace, where it curves into Ainslie Street. The block is dense with six-flats like “every street in Margate Park,” says listing agent Ed Jelinek of Coldwell Banker. “And you get a lot of these oversized vintage units.” Happily there’s a break in the massing at today’s address, with the newly rebuilt Buttercup Playlot Park as a neighbor.