List Price: $425,000
The Property: This three-bedroom condo in Hyde Park, with a small gourmet kitchen, lots of wood trim, and a long row of south-facing windows, can be found inside one of the neighborhood’s grandest buildings—which itself sits on private Madison Park. Like one of Chicago’s grand old boulevards, the park is a linear run of open land, but gated at either end. It’s the community’s picnic ground, ball field, and shady retreat. Until recently, according to the seller of this condo, the park was also a regular shortcut for Michelle Obama, who would often be seen walking with her two daughters from their nearby home to a favorite local ice-cream shop.

Three-block-long Madison Park was set aside as a private development in the 1880s. Most development came in the 1920s, resulting in a mix of Victorian houses and bigger apartment or condo buildings along the grassy central parkway. At the east end of the park is a block of low, almost inscrutable homes built in 1961 with blank brick exteriors but sunny atrium courtyards; Bill Veeck, baseball’s Barnum and twice the owner of the Chicago White Sox, lived in one of those homes.

This condo, on the second floor of an 82-year-old brick and limestone building at 1350 East Madison Park (just northwest of Dorchester Avenue and Hyde Park Boulevard), has views overlooking the park, as well as views into the building’s oversize courtyard. The 2,000-square-foot floor plan reflects the condo’s 1920s origins. In the front are very large living spaces—the dining room now accommodates both a large table and a separate space to watch TV—and two bedrooms, each with its own full bath; in the rear are a maid’s bedroom and a smallish kitchen. As you will see in the video (hosted this week by Rochelle Vayo-Adkinson of CLTV’s Homes Plus show), previous owners shoehorned a gourmet workspace into the kitchen, which comes with a commercial-size range, pine cabinets, and a farm sink. Parking is on the street, for an annual $400 fee.

The condo’s seller, Soyini Madison, the director of Northwestern University’s African Studies program, grew up in Hyde Park. Madison Park, she says, has been “exactly what this creature of habit wanted.” But the commute has begun to wear on Madison, so she has started looking for a home farther north. She listed the condo for sale with Marnie Beilin in February. 

Price Points: The assessments, which cover upkeep of both the building and the park, are $500 a month, which Beilin says is notably low for vintage homes in Hyde Park. Fees ranging from $700 to $1,500 are more typical for a condo or co-op of this size, she says—and that’s for buildings that don’t share a private park.

Listing Agent: Marnie Beilin of Rubloff, 312-759-0165