So there’s a lot of demand, as you might have noticed if you are trying to buy a home, or thinking of trying to buy a home. So what’s out there? Today, at least, lots of condos of all sorts—new and old, affordable and luxurious. There are houses too of course, but a browse of homes that have been on Zillow for a single day turned up a lot of architecturally interesting units.
There’s a surprisingly affordable Mies van der Rohe in there, but—not to sound blasé!—they do turn up sometimes. Let’s start with a very different midcentury modern style, one that marks a turning point in the history of Lincoln Park.
This might not have intense curb appeal to everyone, but those who do will love it. Its very ’60s style (and reasonably family-sized layout of two beds, two baths, at 1,200 square feet) places it in its historical era, the transformation of the Old Town Triangle during its bohemian-rehab phase documented by Daniel Kay Hertz in his book The Battle of Lincoln Park. It’s been renovated with a contemporary look, but the odd angles and extensive exposed brick keep it a throwback; the framing of the living-room fireplace between narrow floor-to-ceiling windows, framed by more exposed brick, is a gorgeous centerpiece.
For an MCM building with no weird angles at all, this one-bed, one-bath, 887-square-foot condo is for sale in Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s 1955 masterpiece on Lake Shore Drive is for sale at a reasonable price (and $532/month HOA dues). It’s Mies, so you know what you’re going to get: clean lines, perfectly proportioned minimalism, open plans, no wasted space, spectacular views—especially from this height—by the lake.
Or maybe you think Mies ruined a perfectly nice old ornate Beaux Arts architectural heritage, in which case you should head up LSD for this Lakeview unit in a 1925 Robert De Golyer building. If the style looks familiar from Lakeview, the Gold Coast, and Kenwood, that’s because he designed buildings up and down the shore. For less than a million, you get a lot of space—four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and 2,700 square-feet, that’s both conservative and cozy.
Can’t decide between a duplex, a penthouse, or a loft? Not far west you can get all three—at the price you might expect from the combination, but it’s striking, particularly how the bank of windows works with the exposed ducts and loft space. Over 2,000 square feet with two beds and two baths, there are a lot of cozy spaces to offset the sleek contemporary feel, like the little lofted den and WFH nook, plus a long deck surrounded by sleek architectural details.
For something warmer, try this AIA-honored renovation with light hardwood throughout, including in one of the most attractive galley kitchens you’ll ever see. That sits off of a large open space that makes up the bulk of the condo, which is cleverly divided into unique spaces: small stairs separate the dining room and living room, and a stout dividing wall separates, mostly, the living room and bedroom. If you need a bit of privacy, the bedroom has its own dressing room. If you need more, there’s a small library tucked into the rear of the home.