A mansion with a view in downtown Chicago

A slice of Chicago history
Fancy owning an historic mansion in the heart of River North? Well, here’s your chance. The Habitat Company is marketing three handsome masonry mansions overlooking Washington Square Park on Dearborn Street. Pictured, from left, is the old Scottish Rite Cathedral and the trio of homes: the Carpenter House (921 N Dearborn), the Taylor Home (919 N Dearborn) and the Thompson Residences. The three homes were built for their monied owners in the late 1880s, and are beautiful examples of post-Fire architecture. In recent years, these mansions served as the offices of the Scottish Rite Association. The organization sold the homes, which are part of the Washington Square Landmark District, to The Enterprise Companies and Mesirow Financial Real Estate, co-developers of the new Walton on the Park high-rise project, which is slated for a site just east of the mansions. Habitat is yet to price the homes but we trust they’ll be affordable, at least for your average hedge-fund manager. The houses, which are between 9,000 and 11,000 square feet and have up to six bedrooms, need substantial renovations.

Fancy buying a mansion?
Nope, no granite countertops or stainless steel appliances here, thankfully. It’s not often we get to list features such as a white marble foyer, a carved walnut fireplace and stained glass windows, which are what you’ll find at the Georgian-style Taylor Home.

At the Thompson Residence, sleigh bells are carved in stone over the front canopy. The Romanesque Carpenter House has four parlors – one was designed just for the ladies – as well as a fireplace crafted from cherry wood and columns made of light brown marble.

Who is likely to buy these charming old residences? Habitat’s Millie Rosenbloom says a couple of developers have checked them out, with a view to restoring them and selling them as single-family homes and Rosenbloom doesn’t think the layout of the houses would make them suitable candidates for condo conversions. “Prominent attorneys and doctors” are other likely candidates, she says. “I have a family looking at the Taylor Home right now,” Rosenbloom tells Yo. “The man is a graduate from Johns Hopkins and he’s going to be a surgeon in Chicago.”

Forced by Yo to compare the houses to the famous residences of Astor Street, Rosenbloom points out that the trio of mansions along Dearborn come with generous yards, unlike many of their Gold Coast counterparts.

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