This limestone-clad mansion has a storied history — and even a few Hollywood cameos.
Published Sept. 27, 2018, at 5:14 p.m.
Text by AJ LaTrace
In 2011, when a grand, limestone-clad home at 1521 North State Parkway went on the market, Dr. Enrique Hernandez jumped at the opportunity to submit an offer. He had, after all, passed by the Gold Coast mansion every day for 20 years.
“I would look at the magnificently detailed limestone facade and always thought, ‘This would be a wonderful home to live in,’” says Hernandez, who purchased the property in January 2012. “The house had been chopped up into seven apartments, but thank god they left much of the original architectural ingredients intact.”
Now, Hernandez is putting 1521 North State Parkway back on the market as he readies for a move to Florida. The asking price: a cool $10.3 million.
Designed by noted Prairie School architect George Maher, the stately Gold Coast mansion features a classical Beaux-Arts aesthetic once common in tiny pockets around the city. According to Doug Smith, a listing agent with @properties, the home was built by noted Chicago developer J. Lewis Cochran, in 1894, as his personal residence.
More recently, the house has had the occasional brush with Hollywood, serving as a filming location for Empire, Dick Wolf’s Chicago franchise, and the 2000 film What Women Want.
Deconverting the house from apartments was no simple task. Hernandez began restoring the home shortly after paying $4.725 million for it in 2012 and wrapped up renovation work only in the last few months. Notable improvements include all new plumbing, electrical, heating, and air, as well as a spacious rooftop deck addition and an outdoor terrace off the kitchen. Hernandez hired the architecture firm dSpace Studio for the rooftop space while designer Thomas Wesely led the interior remodel.
The rooftop space, Hernandez says, is an oasis. Because of the home’s location in a historic district, it stands taller than its neighbors, offering unobstructed views of Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan.
Filled with upscale finishes and a some key original architectural features (the staircase and fireplaces), the house represents a blend of Gilded Age luxury and modern comforts. But more importantly, each level has a different theme, which gives the house a dynamism that isn’t always common in ultra-luxe properties, Hernandez says.
At $10.3 million, the seven-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bathroom mansion is currently the second most expensive residence for sale in the Gold Coast and sixth priciest in the entire city. Hernandez says he wishes he could bring the house with him to Florida, especially since he’s spent so much time on the renovation. However, he thinks that its traditional floor plan and move-in ready status make it a great buy for the right family.