List Price: $1,095,000
Sale Price: $1,159,000
The Property: The largest and most lavishly ornamented condo in the landmark art moderne Fisher Studio Houses sold October 9 after more than three and a half years on the market.
After all that time and a series of price cuts from the original ask of $1.675 million, the condo wound up selling for more than its lowest asking price. “We reduced it to the right price and got a lot more interest,” says Ann Lyon, who (with her co-listing agent Jed Skae) was the third real estate agent to try and sell the place since it first went on the market in January 2009. After a late-June price cut from $1,149,000 to $1,095,000, she says, “there were multiple interested parties,” although she declined to say how many. A bidding war can send the price above the ask; so can a buyer’s request to buy furnishings with the property. Lyon acknowledged both of these factors played a part in the final sale price, but she wouldn’t disclose any more.
Filled with distinctive stained glass, curved walls, glass block and sleek white plaster, the three-story condo was originally the home of Frank Fisher, Jr., a Marshall Field & Co. executive who commissioned the architect Andrew Rebori to build him a combination of income property and home on a deep, slender lot at 1209 North State Parkway. Fisher’s home was set at the back of the lot and reached via a garden pathway through the courtyard that the rental units all face. Because of its proximity to the alley, glass block fills the large main wall of the living room instead of windows, to bring in light but no alley view.
The set-back location on a block just a few doors north of busy Division Street gives the condo the mix of a private, almost secluded feeling in a thrumming neighborhood.
In 2000, when the apartments were being converted to condos, the photographer Michael Marienthal bought the by-then dilapidated Fisher unit for $599,000 and, working with architect Darcy Bonner renovated extensively. He filled some window openings with original art glass by Edgar Miller that he had found in a trash bin, combined two small bedrooms to create a master bedroom, and installed a gleaming new stainless steel kitchen. The renovated home was later featured in Architectural Digest.
Marienthal now lives in New Orleans. I wrote about the condo in 2009, when he had had it on the market several months. The video from that visit shows many of the home’s artful details (as well as an earlier listing agent for the property).
Price Points: Lyon said Marienthal’s latter asking prices were “probably” less than he had invested in the property, but she wouldn’t go farther than that. “It was always just a question of getting the right people in to see it,” she says. The ultimate buyers were moving to Chicago from out of town and first saw the place after the June price cut, says Colette Connelly, the Prudential Rubloff agent who represented them. She would not identify them, and their names aren’t in the public records yet. “I think they paid a fair price,” she says.