List Price: $575,000 (update 7/5/07 – price reduced to $535,000)
The Property: This carefully renovated Prairie-style bungalow manages to be both livable and attentive to its role as a Chicago landmark. Many original details are intact, such as the distinctive hexagonal-mullioned windows and hand-hewn ceiling beams in the living, dining, and sun rooms. Others have been re-created-in particular, the pergola-style awning that projects off the front of the house. The living room is a charming space, enlarged from its original layout to include 338 square feet, with a brick-columned fireplace and several sunny windows. There are five bedrooms, three-plus baths, and an immense back yard with an above-ground pool and a very large deck.
Towering above are old oak trees that must have been around to impress Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin, the Prairie School architect and landscape architect who in the early 1900s collaborated on this and six other nature-centric homes on W. 104th Place, now known as Walter Burley Griffin Place. They built five others on nearby streets.
Chicago’s landmarks registry describes the Griffin cluster as the largest concentration of small-scale Prairie-style houses in Chicago. This house, known as the Edmund C. Garrity House, was completed in 1909 at a cost of $4,000.
Seller Dave Kroll had previously restored another of the Griffin houses on the street, says his listing agent, Lou Alb. Kroll bought the Garrity house for $275,000 in 2005 when the prior owners lost it in foreclosure after their efforts to rehab the place “went out of control,” Alb says. It needed restoration, which Kroll has done, along with updating the kitchen and replacing the roof and some floors. He is now selling in order to move on to another project, Alb says.
Price Points: The house was initially listed for $597,000, in March. With the price cut to $575,000, it’s still in a high part of Beverly’s range: the two houses that have sold in the past two years at that price were both far larger, more conventionally impressive homes, a Victorian and a Queen Anne. They were on much smaller lots than this home’s 66-by-220-foot lot, but they were showpieces.
Walter Burley Griffin Place is easily one of the prettiest streets in lovely Beverly, and this house plays a key role in its charm, but the price may need to come down yet again to draw a buyer.
Listing Agent: Lou Alb, Molloy & Associates Realtors, (773) 779-9898