Architect for Lincoln Park conversion aims for an old-world feel

1919 N Sheffield

We posted recently on the Hannibal Lecter-esque scaffolding covering the facade of 1919 N Sheffield, a gut rehab currently underway in Lincoln Park from developer Melrose Partners. Yo talked recently with the project architect, Timothy LeVaughn of LeVaughn & Associates Architects, who is also a member of Melrose Partners, for his perspective on the project. When construction wraps up (likely in late summer, Vaughn says), the building will evoke Gigi more than Silence of the Lambs.

1919 N SheffieldThe most striking aspect of the renovation is the plan to rip off the building’s brick facade and replace it with a brick-and-limestone design finished with French doors and wrought-iron balconies. “The front really didn’t have a whole lot of redeeming character,” Vaughn says, adding that the new facade is meant to give the structure “a sense of monumentality” akin to flats in London, Paris or the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
The origins of 1919 N Sheffield were considerably less glamorous. It began its life about 100 years ago as a one-story commercial space, LeVaughn says, and in the 1920s two upper floors were added. When Melrose Partners acquired the building commercial tenants occupied the two lower floors and the top floor was devoted to apartments.

The gut rehab will leave only the side and back walls intact, says Tunde Maneses, an agent with Sudler Sotheby’s International Realty and Melrose Partners. When the renovation is complete, the building’s interior space will be divided into four units (Melrose Partners’ Web site says there are six, but two company representatives have assured us that there are in fact four units). Two duplexes, one in the front and one in the rear, will span the first level and a half-submerged basement. These 2,500-square-foot units will have three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. The second and third levels will each contain one 5,000-square-foot condo with four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms (again, the Web site differs slightly, but both Maneses and Vaughn confirm that these specs are accurate).

The exceptional width of the building — 38 feet across the front — allows for large rooms, LeVaughn says. The units will also have 10-foot ceiling heights, wide-plank walnut floors, custom trim and millwork, Christopher Peacock kitchen cabinets, Waterworks fixtures and Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances. The units will also have touch panels from Lutron HomeWorks that control lighting, sound and temperature and provide Internet access.

The third-floor condo (which LeVaughn says has already sold) will have exclusive access to a roof deck. The other residents won’t have outdoor space, unless they decide to fling open their French doors and lean out, Parisian-style, onto their balconies. They won’t be able to lean too far though, as these balconies are nearly flush with the building’s façade.

Both duplexes and the second-floor condo are available, Maneses says. The duplexes are priced just shy of $1 million and the condos are $2.1 million. Attached, heated parking is included, with two spaces for each condo and one space for each duplex.

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