If you’ve got money — and not necessarily a lot of it — chances are you can secure an architecturally distinctive home in or around Chicago. These five run from just under $300,000 to $2.5 million, but they’re all works of notable architects, and they’re all very Chicago, showing common threads between Prairie, midcentury modern, and the International style. (Well, except for the giant Tuscan tower with the Byzantine Room. But I had to include that.)
51 South Mayflower Road, Lake Forest, $2.395 million
Architecturally, you can find almost anything you want around Chicago. But it’s really hard to find a tower, so you better act fast. This specimen, part of a five-bed, six-bath home by Gilded Age architect David Adler, totals five stories. On the fourth floor of this tower is a “Byzantine Room,” which “depicts the Greek Gods overseeing the earth, with the words of a mere mortal, ‘feeling as if he is walking among the stars with the Gods,’ ” according to the listing. On the fifth floor, there’s an en suite bedroom.
334 Circle Lane, Lake Forest, $1.25 million
If you can’t decide between Prairie Style or midcentury modern, you might like this four-bed, four-bath home by Water Tower architect Edward Dart. It’s pretty firmly in the latter category, but from the driveway you can see how the two styles speak to each other — and how appropriate they are for Illinois's landscape. On the inside, the stylistic mashup means lots of open space and lots of hardwood.
6500 South Eberhart Avenue, $290,000
For more affordable south-Chicagoland modernism, try this 1982 design by David Hovey, which brings the glass box into the sleek, glittery 1980s. The lines are midcentury modern, but the corrugated steel ceilings are all high industrial chic. While it foregoes the natural textures of the midcentury, the design lets in the surrounding green space with floor-to-ceiling windows in virtually all of its 2,280 square feet, including two beds and three baths.
5 Rolling Ridge Road, Northfield, $2.5 million
Built by architect Thomas Roszak for himself (and memorialized in his 2006 book Glass House: A Family Home), this five-bed, 5,500 square-footer is well documented and extremely transparent. It boasts a nice blend of industrial textures, warm colors, open space, and natural light — a combination of 20th century architectural themes kicking off the 21st century.