One of the nicest places in Metro Chicago is Fort Sheridan, the old Army base tucked into Highland Park. And while “former Army base” wouldn’t normally set hearts aflutter, this particular one was designed by Holabird and Roche, the architecture firm founded by proteges of William Le Baron Jenney, father of the skyscraper. (Soldier Field and the Board of Trade building are among their famous projects.)
And there’s more! The landscaping at Fort Sheridan was designed by O.C. Simonds, the superintendent of Graceland Cemetery and another former employee of Jenney. Along with the great Jens Jensen, who’s probably more familiar to Chicagoans, he’s credited with pioneering the Prairie Style of landscape architecture.
The end result is an absolutely beautiful campus, right next to an absolutely beautiful forest preserve, which drops down to a public beach. The old Holabird and Roche buildings have been converted into private residences — some houses, some condos. Here’s what’s for sale right now.
59 Logan Loop, $1.35 million
For $1.35 million, you can live in the 6,000-square-foot captain’s home just off the lake. It’s got five beds, four baths, and two powder rooms, with a rooftop deck and lake views from the master bedroom. Inside it’s been restored to a traditional-contemporary but tasteful look around the original woodwork; outside it retains a fine old patina.
214 Whistler Road, $1.25 million
Smaller and a bit less expensive — $1.25 million — but cooler is this low-slung former firehouse. The main living room is a masterpiece: a hipped roof with original woodwork above and exposed brick below, encasing a massive open space. The rest of the deceptively large interior (five beds, four and a half baths, and 5,400 square feet) has been carved up into similarly rich spaces surrounding the gorgeous centerpiece.
806 Stables Court, $469,000
It’s not just a clever name; this townhome was actually a stable. But it was an Army stable, so it’s big: 1,783 square feet with two beds and two baths for $469,000. For obvious reasons, it hasn’t been restored exactly, but it retains the distinctive beams that reflect its old use over the living room, office, and dining room.
324 Leonard Wood #203, $584,000
If you need a step up from the stables, you can get a big barracks condo for $584,900. It has three beds, two and a half baths, an 800-square-foot balcony, and 30-foot vaulted ceilings that, like other Fort Sheridan buildings, frame beautiful old wooden beams. At 2,561 square feet, there’s a lot of extra space, including a mezzanine loft that can serve as an office or gym, plus two walk-in closets in the master suite.
94 Leonard Wood S #204, $539,000
For a more conservative look — and even more massive beams — consider this three-bed, 2.5-bath barrack condo in the same building, which is a bit smaller (2,153 square feet) and a bit less expensive ($539,000). The ceilings are lower, a mere 20 feet, but it also features two walk-in closets; a porch overlooking the parade grounds is similarly gracious; one bedroom opens out onto a back porch, which wraps around a pleasant courtyard.