Water has always been an important feature of life in Chicagoland. Native Americans used the various rivers as transportation routes, carrying boats through the ancient Chicago Portage that connected the Mississippi River to the Chicago and Des Plaines rivers and ultimately the Great Lakes. This link spurred the growth of Chicago and the surrounding area. Now that it’s officially winter all the rivers across Chicagoland will be frozen soon. But that doesn’t mean you still can’t enjoy the amazing water views from these riverfront properties currently for sale. No matter the season, who would turn down the opportunity to live in one of these unique designs?
Located on a 3.3-acre wooded lot on the banks of the Kishwaukee River is this one-of-a-kind design by modernist architect Harry Weese. The home’s indoor spaces seamlessly blend with the beautiful outdoors. From the full-height stone fireplace, soaring ceilings, conversation pit, teak wood floors, catwalk, spiral staircase, and breakfast solarium — it’s quite the home. Sliding glass doors open to the patio and gardens where there is a leaf-shaped pool and a tennis court shaded by mature oak trees. Nearby is a forest preserve, golf course, and the DeKalb Nature Trail. Whoever is lucky to buy this home will become only its third owner in 45 years.
The design of this contemporary open-concept home in suburban Libertyville takes full advantage of its site next to the Des Plaines River. Natural light pours in through the floor-to-ceiling windows and the clerestory windows of the 20-foot cathedral ceiling. But you can also enjoy the incredible views from underneath the pergola of the outdoor kitchen, which comes with a built-in Viking gas grill, cooktop, Big Green Egg, soapstone counters, and stainless steel cabinetry. Some people might be turned off by the interior’s unpolished concrete floors, exposed steel trusses, and unfinished walls, but others will see endless possibilities to truly make the home their own.
A lot has changed since the 1972 Clean Water Act and various environmental groups cleaned up the Chicago River, transforming it from a dirty industrial waterway to a popular location for recreational activities like renting kayaks or sipping wine on the popular Riverwalk. You might not be able to safely swim in the river, but you can still take in the water views from the curved balconies of Bertrand Goldberg’s Marina City. The multi-building development, completed in 1967, started the trend of people wanting to live and work downtown. This one-bedroom unit in the west “corncob” tower has amazing southeast views of the Chicago River and the Loop skyline.
Who wouldn’t love to have the Fox River right outside your front door? This five-bedroom, three-bathroom riverfront home is appropriately located on River Road in suburban Algonquin, known as “the gem of the Fox River Valley.” There are plenty of updates inside the cozy 1930s dwelling, including an all-white kitchen with new granite countertops. The primary bedroom comes with a fireplace and full bathroom. Although there is shared river access, the owner will still be able to enjoy all the Fox River has to offer, from boating to fishing.
We saved the best for last — or in this case the largest, with a nearly one-acre property located on the DuPage River. This 9,400-square-foot luxury mansion in Naperville built in 2005 is perfect for anyone who loves outdoor living, as it has direct access to the river from its backyard. Not only can you kayak or fish right from your home, you’re also steps away from both the DuPage River Trail and the popular Naperville Riverwalk. And did I mention the infinity pool and basketball court? There are also plenty of amenities inside this incredible home, including a 12-seat home theatre, massage room and sauna, and an entertaining level with a fully equipped bar and temperature-controlled wine cellar.