List price: $1.499 million
The Property: Built in 1873 by one of the first residents of what was then suburban Irving Park, this brick Italianate house is filled with hand-crafted vintage features, including the door and window trim and the intricate wooden floor inlays. Otherwise, the place has the feel of a brand-new house, thanks to the restoration efforts of the past two owners, who took care to preserve the home’s original character while making it livable for the 21st century.
Beginning at the sheltered front porch and extending through all four floors and into the side garden, the house exudes a sedate elegance. There is a 19th-century warmth to the living and dining rooms, with their eight-foot-tall windows and ten-foot ceilings and the broad arched doorway between. On the third floor, where the sellers, Brad Maury and Mark Jones, converted attic space into a sky-lit master suite with an enormous double shower, the attitude is more (compatibly) modern. Maury and Jones, who are moving to Los Angeles for work reasons, have owned the house for five years; the prior owner also did a lot of renovation.
The kitchen is new but finished to evoke the original house. There are four bedrooms and three baths on the second floor, a spacious family room, and a 3,000-bottle wine cellar in the English basement; an addition behind the main floor contains a secluded library and home office. The nicely landscaped side courtyard—all the private yard there is—has a fountain and seating areas.
The house initially stood on Irving Park Road, around the corner from its present location. Its original owner, Stephen Race, was the brother of Charles Race, the primary developer of Irving Park, which was at the time a train-accessed Chicago suburb with aspirations to be another Oak Park or Evanston. (Chicago annexed the town in 1889.) In 1905, when Irving Park Road was becoming a heavily trafficked street, Race moved the house to a side-street lot he owned, where it stands today.
Price Points: The house has lots of charm and lots of space—approximately 5,800 square feet—and is in sharp, move-in condition. The asking price approaches the highest amounts paid for this fine section of the Old Irving Park neighborhood (on Chicago’s Northwest Side): seven houses have sold there for more than $1 million within a few blocks of this home, but none since 2006, according to data from the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois. (One house sold for exactly $1 million this past July.)
Listing Agent: Anne Ralston, Koenig & Strey GMAC, (312) 475-4558