The word penthouse implies a certain air of elegance. Most people think of a top floor luxury apartment that offers first-rate city views. In Chicago Apartments: A Century of Lakefront Luxury, Neil Harris wrote “the sparkle of Hollywood-inspired apartments…where high life characters moved through penthouses with enormous, high-ceilinged rooms and landscaped terraces” had a huge impact on how people viewed luxury living, especially in the inter-war period of the 1920s. With various price points from $500,000 to over $4 million, it’s obviously not cheap to live high in the sky. The following properties of differing architectural styles are in great locations all over the city. Let’s take a look at these unquestionably impressive penthouses (especially the one in the Gold Coast) that are currently for sale.
River North is the setting of Hulu’s The Bear. While there have certainly been critiques on how well the show captures Chicago, I think everyone can agree that this duplex penthouse in Erie Center Lofts is pretty cool. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo with floating staircase is packed with character as brick, timber, and exposed ductwork fill the 11-foot-high interior space. The unit comes with a balcony as well as a large private terrace with decking and planters. The $805 monthly HOA fees include water, parking, exercise facilities, and 24-hour door staff.
Located atop a Benjamin Marshall-designed building at the corner of Astor and Division in Chicago’s Gold Coast is this 5,000-square-foot full floor penthouse available for the first time in 20 years. The upscale Georgian-style brick multi-unit structure was built for developer W.M. Morrison between 1908 and 1911. With a $4.2 million price tag, it’s no wonder that the three-bedroom, four-bathroom condo is just gorgeous inside, from the ornate walls to the period-appropriate sconces. In addition to the Juliet balconies, there’s a rooftop with a 3,000-square-foot landscaped deck and full kitchen. This listing comes with a studio apartment located across the street, as well as two parking spaces.
The Beckley-Ralston Company was founded by W.L. Beckley in 1893 as a warehousing firm handling bicycle parts before moving into the burgeoning sector of automobiles and radio. Originally constructed in 1899, their former office building was converted into residential lofts nearly 25 years ago. This beautiful timber two-bedroom, two-bathroom loft has been on and off the market for the past year (the price has now gone down to $499,888). Not only does the unit come with two separate balconies but also has private roof rights. An individual parking space is available for the price of $25,000.
This cozy two-bedroom, two-bedroom simplex penthouse in East Lakeview has been fully renovated by its current owners. The separate family room can be converted into a third bedroom while the rest of the condo is full of character with its exposed brick and vintage woodwork. I love the “room within a room” feeling as they have utilized the loft space as an office/reading area. There is a great outdoor private space while the building itself is located just a short distance from the lakefront.
ParkShore Condos in the New Eastside area is a 56-story, 483-unit high rise built 30 years ago that offers magnificent views of downtown and Lake Michigan. Just one floor down from the building’s amazing roof deck is this recently remodeled two-bedroom, two-bathroom penthouse with east, west, and north-facing windows. The 1,575-square-foot unit with one attached parking space is currently listed at $639,999. Living at the top of a high-amenity downtown building comes with sky-high monthly HOA fees (this one is nearly $1,300 per month).