If you want to live in a true timber loft on Lake Shore Drive in Streeterville, you really have only one option: 540 N Lake Shore Drive.
The building was built in 1912 as a Borg-Warner warehouse. It later housed the John O. Butler Company, a toothbrush innovator. Columbia College rented space and held classes in the building during the 60s and 70s. In 1983 it was renovated for rental apartments by Booth Hansen architects, and was converted to condos in 1992. A number of well-known Chicagoans have called the building home over the years.
The 7-story 540 Lake Shore Drive stands out among its towering neighbors at the center of the above photo. Its rooftop sundeck overlooks Olive Park and beach and Navy Pier, and there’s a nearby pedestrian underpass for access to the park. The building’s fitness room, lobby and laundry have been recently renovated.
The building had 150 units at the time of conversion, but a number of the smaller units have been combined into larger ones. Units have large windows, 12-foot ceilings, and exposed brick and timber beams. As you’d expect from a 20-year old conversion, they vary widely in their current finishes.
If you’d like to know more about lofts and what you should consider before buying one, consult YoChicago’s loft condo guide.
You can see more of our aerial photos of Chicago at Flickr.