Listing agent Mark Icuss has seen his share of jaw-dropping interiors at penthouses and luxury homes in the two markets he handlesâChicagoÂ and Jackson Hole, WYâbut a new listing sits at the apex. Literally.
Owned by only three families since it was built in 1928, this 8,000-square-foot penthouse is perfectly positioned on North Lake Shore Drive in downtown Chicago, with commanding views of Lake Michigan. It’s now available for $17 million, a price that puts it in fourth place in the ranks of the most expensive listings in the Windy City.
However, there’s no competition when it comes to the layout of this rooftop residence. Sitting atop a 23-story building, it includes an awe-inspiring, unobstructed view from a 5,000-square-foot, east-facing private terrace. To top it all, it includes a manicured lawn, water fountain, and mature trees. Most penthouse residents don’t need to budget in the expense of a gardener, but this green expanse is worth it.
Icuss makes the bold claim that it’s âthe best penthouse in Chicago, and also the country.â While preparing to list the Versailles-like penthouse, he dug into the buildingâs history and found much of it âveiled in secrecy.â
Perched on a building designed by the Sicilian American architect Rosario Candela, and spanning the entire top floor, the penthouse was completed in 1930 for a prominent banker, George Woodruff.
This is the first time it has been made publicly available, since the two previous sales were off-market. The current owner has held onto it since the 1970sâand the owner before that had owned it since the 1940s.
âIt is the only Candela-designed residence outside of New York,â says Icuss. âYou were invited to buy into the building. It was, and still is, a premier property. There is not an outdoor space on a building anywhere in Chicago like this.â
Visitors are whisked to the unit via a private elevator and disembark in a grand formal entry. The layout features six bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms long on Old World opulence.
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Icuss told us that the penthouse is a trophy residence and deserves an owner who isn’t simply looking for a short-term stay.
He thinks a buyer âwill probably own it for 20 to 30 years,â adding, âif history repeats itself, whoever buys the place will take on a bit of restoration.â
Which doesnât mean the penthouse is crumbling or aging. But a new owner may make some changes around the margins and personalize the place a bit.
The new owner should also be someone who continues the tradition of preservation. The original features, like the hand-carved doors, bronze hardware, stone carvings, vaulted ceilings and frescos, 20-foot coffered ceilings in the living room, and a walnut-paneled gallery hall, remain intact. A buyer may consider a modernization of the kitchen and family room, says Icuss.
âItâs going to be a successful family, somebody who needs space and privacy. This isnât just a penthouse on top of a building,â he says. âFolks who can afford to buy this kind of stuffâthey pay for uniqueness.â
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