List price: $1.95 million
The Property: One hundred years old in 2008, this 14-room Prairie-style home has been thoroughly renovated and updated but at no cost to its original character, which comes from five-piece banded molding in the main rooms, a massive fireplace bricked in a herringbone pattern, and numerous windows on three sides (a rarity in Hyde Park’s older attached houses). The Tudor look of the beamed upper and brick lower portions carries through this and four other houses built on this corner in a Hyde Park “Professors’ Row” cluster. The architects of the cluster, Tallmadge & Watson, were among the leading Prairie architects—in fact, they coined the phrase “Prairie School.”

The six-bedroom house has four baths and two powder rooms, all renovated in the past four years along with the kitchen in styles suited to the house’s vintage but fitted out with contemporary appliances and fixtures. The master bath, where two small rooms used to be, has a fireplace, a big walk-in shower, a tub, and a view of the master suite’s rooftop deck. The house has no garage or off-street parking, but the sellers are offering a two-year lease on a space in a university-owned lot nearby.

The sellers, Claresa Close and Elizabeth Stearns, bought the house in October 2003 for $1.15 million. They were moving to Chicago from Las Vegas so Close, a pediatric urologist, could head that department at the University of Chicago’s Gary Comer Children’s Hospital. Stearns is a marketing professor. They rented housing elsewhere for two years while overseeing a meticulous renovation of this house, says their agent, Diane Silverman. Two years after they moved in, they returned to Nevada. They listed the house for sale in May 2007 for $2.4 million.

Price Points: The cost of the renovations, which included installing air conditioning and new heat, digging out the basement for a more livable ceiling height, and installing new copper gutters, nearly covers the spread between the asking price and what the sellers paid for the house, Silverman says. Sales of million-dollar-plus homes in Hyde Park slipped to two last year, from a peak of eight in 2006. Down the block, a 12-room house of similar vintage and renovation quality sold in August for $1.765 million.

Listing Agent: Diane Silverman, Urban Search, (312) 337-2400. Silverman is holding an open house of this residence on Saturday; call for details.
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