Walk through the Lincoln Park three-bedroom redstone with Dennis.

On the Market: Downsizing in Lincoln Park

Original woodwork is foundA throughout the house.

List Price: $1.495 million
The Property: Nine years ago, this redstone townhouse from the early 1890s and its neighbor to the east were coupled together in an unusual approach to expandable housing. In 1999, when their family of five was outgrowing the house on the east (where they had lived since 1980), Susan and Tom Kuczmarski bought this house to handle the overflow.

Along with providing more space for their teenagers, this three-bedroom house had an office where the parents, both of them writers—they have nine books on leadership, parenting, and new products between them—could work uninterrupted. Family guests frequently stayed in the second house as well.

Buying the second house was a way to stay in the neighborhood they loved, Susan Kuczmarski says today. The houses are on a pretty one-block street lined with 19th-century homes. The block opens to Clark Street shops and restaurants on one end, and onto the lovely North Pond section of Lincoln Park on the other. “I walk my dogs over there and I feel like I’m in Michigan,” Susan Kuczmarski says.

The family never combined the two houses, instead opening a single interior doorway between the breakfast rooms and maintaining this house as a separate place with its own kitchen and backyard. “We never wanted to have that much space down the road,” Susan Kuczmarski says, “although we thought about combining the two houses whenever we had a bottle of wine and started talking.”

Now that their three boys are grown—the last leaves for college at the end of the summer—the couple feel they can comfortably return to living in just the original house. They listed the second house for sale last fall with an asking price of $1.795 million. In February, they listed it with a different agent, Greg Jarvis, who reduced the price to $1.695 million; he has since cut the price by $200,000. That house’s third floor, which now contains a bedroom and a workout room, only extends about one-third as far back as the lower floors. Kuczmarski says the building is rated to handle the weight of an addition there. Included with the house is a deeded indoor parking space in a nearby garage.

Price Points: The house’s kitchen and four-plus bathrooms are all perfectly serviceable, but were last updated in the late 1970s. The cost of redoing them would vary according to the new owners’ taste and requirements, but would easily top $100,000.

Listing Agent: Greg Jarvis of Baird & Warner, 312-375-3552; gregjarvis@aol.com