Two weeks ago, a unique home was listed on the market for the first time in almost 25 years. Located on exclusive Astor Street in Chicago’s Gold Coast, the multi-million-dollar property is a rare example of an International Style residential design in the city. It was originally a Queen Anne-style townhouse built for utility executive Bernard E. Sunny in the late 19th century — before architect James F. Eppenstein bought it in the 1930s, transforming the structure to what you see today. It was published widely at the time, including in Architectural Forum

While searching through real estate listings, I often come across houses where architects have resided. When you consider what the Chicago area has to offer in terms of its vibrant architectural community, and its remarkable buildings, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Because architects typically construct their own homes or renovate existing ones, we’re left with some interesting designs. Here are five properties for sale that all have an architect connection.

1432 N Astor St, Chicago, $3,300,000

This 6,300-square-foot residence was transformed by modernist architect James F. Eppenstein, who lived here until his death in 1955. As part of the renovation, he moved the main entrance to the lower level with a new ribbed glass door, added a staircase made of stainless steel, and covered the facade in simple granite and horizontal bands of windows. The home features five bedrooms, four full bathrooms, a theater room, a gym, and incredible details, such as the terrazzo and parquet flooring. The property also comes with multiple outdoor spaces, including a patio and rooftop deck. 

999 E Ringwood Rd S, Lake Forest, $2,895,000

According to the real estate listing, this property was originally part of Cyrus H. McCormick Jr.’s Walden estate. Architect Jerome Cerny bought what comprised the dairy barn, dairy room, and dairyman’s house in 1936 and created the 2.5-acre compound that exists today. He added details that include four bowed bay windows, pine wood paneling, and a cupola at the top. The property features a main house with five bedrooms, four bathrooms, new kitchen, and two screened porches. There is also a guest house, a seven-car garage, a greenhouse, storage buildings, an underground cellar, and a tavern.

203 S Sangamon St APT 220, Chicago, $850,000

This 1,900-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit located in the West Loop’s Beacon Lofts is currently owned by a retired architect. The open floor plan with 16-foot-high ceilings offers ample flexibility, while an open staircase leads to an office/den/possible third bedroom. In addition to the custom cabinets in the bedroom, the stainless steel kitchen is another appealing loft design feature. According to its sales history, the property is on the market for the first time since the building was converted to condos in 1999. 

3555 W 102nd St, Evergreen Park, $599,000

In suburban Evergreen Park was the personal residence of architect John Bartolomeo, who died just over a decade ago at the age of 88. His work can be found around Chicago’s South Side and south suburbs, including churches for the Catholic Archdiocese. The 1950s exterior of his five-bedroom home rocks: Just look at the dramatic rooflines and multiple balconies. But what really makes me swoon is the time capsule interior with its pink-tiled bathroom, basement bar, various stone fireplaces, and game room with built-in seating. Since it first hit the market in May, the price of the property has dropped by more than $50,000.  

7N711 Route 59, Bartlett, $469,000

On Route 59 in Bartlett, this three-bedroom, two-bathroom home is for sale for the first time since it was custom-built by an architect as his personal residence in 1975. Situated over two wooded acres, the 2,226-square-foot contemporary design is being sold as-is. The home features cool details, including the front door, open staircase, and wood-burning fireplace (which I hope the next owner will keep). The listing is a perfect opportunity for someone to put their own spin on the property.