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ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Price reduced to $3M on a beautiful Gold Coast home

32 E Bellevue Chicago

When we visited the beautifully renovated Gold Coast home at 32 E Bellevue Pl a year ago, it was priced at $3,500,000. The price has since been reduced to $3M. The location is as good as it gets — literally steps from dozens of restaurants and night clubs, Oak Street Beach and the shops on ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on May 31, 2013
ChicagoSouth Side

City places landmark Raber House up for bid

John Raber House

The City’s Department of Housing and Economic Development has put the John Raber House, a Chicago landmark, up for bid. The home, at 5760 S Lafayette in the Washington Park neighborhood, is on a 75 x 100 foot lot, all that remains of its original six-acre plot. The Italianate home pre-dates the great Chicago fire ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 16, 2013
ChicagoWest / Southwest

Jens Jensen, the Frank Lloyd Wright of landscape architecture

Aerial view of Columbus Park

Many of you may have allowed Jens Jensen’s 150th birthday to pass unnoticed in 2010. I know I did. And some of you may not know of Jens Jensen, an immigrant who started as a street sweeper and rose to become Chicago’s best-known landscape architect. A number of Jensen’s landscapes are now part of the ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 1, 2013
ChicagoSouth Side

Quote of the day: Pilsen’s Bohemian builders and Mexican preservationists

Pilsen streetscape, Chicago

The Pilsen Historic District is bounded roughly on the east and west by Halsted St (800 W) and Western Ave (2400 W), on the south by Cermak Rd (2200 S) and on the north by the railroad embankment just north of 16th St. It’s a large area, and if you were to traverse all of ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on May 2, 2012
ChicagoSouth Side

Historic Del Prado offers renovated Hyde Park apartments

Del Prado Apartments Chicago

The Del Prado, built in 1918, is one of a group of distinctive buildings that mark the gateway from Lake Shore Drive into Hyde Park in Chicago. The buildings comprise a National Register of Historic Places district fronting Harold Washington Park. The interior and exterior of the Del Prado have been renovated, and the building ...

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Posted by sponsored post on April 30, 2012

Help envision the Cermak Creative Industries District

Cermak Creative Industries District video

One of my favorite Chicago intersections is Jefferson, Cermak and Lumber in East Pilsen, just west of the Chicago River. The street names themselves conjure Chicago’s past. Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase, together with the Homestead Act, made real his vision of a nation peopled by agricultural yeomen. The forests of Michigan and Wisconsin traversed the ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 27, 2012
ChicagoSouth Side

The Del Prado’s terra cotta Native Americans

Del Prado Apartments Chicago

The exterior of the Del Prado Apartments in Hyde Park is distinguished by the Native American motifs of its extensive terra cotta detailing. The terra cotta Native Americans that cap the columns in the grand lobby were originally colorfully painted. The coloring deteriorated badly during the years the building sat vacant, and the terra cotta ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 24, 2012

Master architectural preservationist Bill Lavicka

Bill Lavicka

William “Bill” Lavicka impressed, charmed and captivated many people during his life, including many in the media, Don DeBat among them. Don became friends with Bill in 1974 when he wrote a neighborhood story on the Jackson Boulevard Historic District. They made wine together in Bill’s basement since 1983. Don sent along this remembrance of ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 22, 2012
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Tour a full-floor home in the Patterson McCormick Mansion

Patterson McCormick mansion

The historic Patterson McCormick Mansion, built in 1893, was designed by Stanford White and expanded in 1927 by David Adler. Warm Roman brick and terra cotta trim contribute to the distinctive aura of this grand palazzo-style home, which was built as a wedding gift for the daughter of the Chicago Tribune’s Joseph Medill. The mansion, ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 6, 2012
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Is this Chicago’s most visually striking apartment lobby?

Randolph Tower lobby

The Gothic Revival Steuben Club Building, a Chicago landmark, is one of the most visually striking structures in the Loop. It’s best known for the intensity of its near-riotous terra cotta ornamentation. Step inside the lobby of its recent reincarnation as Randolph Tower City Apartments, and traces of the muted tones of the exterior vie ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 28, 2012
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

A Gold Coast home ideal for entertaining

32 E Bellevue Pl Chicago video

The beautifully renovated home at 32 E Bellevue Pl, on a tree-lined Gold Coast block, is a sophisticated urbanite’s dream. The location is stunning — literally steps from a dozen restaurants and night clubs, Oak Street Beach and the shops on Oak Street, on a block lined with beautiful vintage homes. There’s parking for 4 ...

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Posted by sponsored post on February 24, 2012
ChicagoNorth Side

Mrs O’Neill’s home in DePaul is for sale

Dennis Rodkin recently visited a Victorian home on the 2000 block of Seminary, in Lincoln Park‘s DePaul neighborhood, and recounted some of its early and more recent history: Built in 1861 as the farmhouse for a truck farm that delivered its produce into Chicago, the house still has several of its original elements. The ornate ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 3, 2012
ChicagoNorth Side

Old Town Triangle home closes quick sale at $201K over list

1838 N Lincoln Park West video

The striking Italianate Frederick Wacker home at 1838 N Lincoln Park West was listed for sale on December 20 at $1,299,000. The 4,700 square foot, 5-bedroom, 4 ½ bath Old Town Triangle home generated a flurry of interest and four offers, and was under contract three days later. The sale closed last Friday at $1,500,000, ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 9, 2012
ChicagoNorth Side

Tour a historic home on an Old Town Art Fair block

Frederick Wacker mansion Chicago

The Frederick Wacker home in Chicago’s landmark Old Town Triangle neighborhood is one of the largest and most distinctive residences in the area. The ornately-detailed Italianate home was built in 1872, before Chicago banned wood structures in the area. Wacker was a German-born brewer who served as Chairman of the Chicago Plan Commission from 1909 ...

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Posted by sponsored post on January 5, 2012
West suburbsRiverside

You can be the sixth owner of Riverside’s historic Dore cottage

Dore Cottage

The Village of Riverside’s story is too storied to bear repeating, but if you’re interested you can visit the websites of the Village and the Riverside Historical Museum. One of the oldest homes in Riverside is the John Clarke Dore cottage, 100 Fairbank Rd, built in 1869. The home has had only five owners in ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on September 28, 2011
North ShoreEvanston

A loose history of Evanston

Evanston mural video

We’ve previously noted the wide variance among Evanston census tracts in private school attendance among elementary school age children. In Census Tract 8092, a part of Evanston’s Fifth Ward, only 6% of elementary school age children attend private schools. That census tract is more than 80% African-American and Hispanic, and is the only Evanston Ward ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on September 5, 2011