Homes with history in the "new" Playboy building

680 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago

Our Streeterville correspondent Francesca Rose checked in yesterday with a post topic in mind: the 84-year-old high-rise at 680 N Lake Shore Dr.

This building has such a fascinating history, and has one of the most extraordinary roofs in Streeterville – a blue pyramid which is stunning against the lake’s backdrop. Originally, it was the American Furniture Mart, and when completed in 1926, it was the largest building in the world. The Mart showcased furniture manufacturers under one roof, and provided the inventory for the Sears, Roebuck and Montgomery Ward mail-order houses.

The building was converted to condominiums and offices in 1979, but still retained the original address, 666 N Lake Shore Dr. In 1989 Playboy moved into the building, requested an address change to 680 N Lake Shore Dr, and the tower’s been known as the “new” Playboy building ever since. There are currently 17 properties on the market for sale, ranging from $269,000 to $1,599,000.

This morning I pulled up those low- and high-end listings, as well as a listing priced right around the median. Here are a few details on each:

  • Unit #1620: a one-bedroom / two-bath listed for $269,000. Features in-unit laundry, built-in shelving, and walk-in closets. Monthly assessments are $669; 2008 taxes are $5,225.
  • Unit #1615: a 1,740 square-foot two-bedroom / two-bath listed for $625,000. Features a custom spiral staircase leading to a lofted den overlooking the living room, bamboo floors, glass tile, stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops, marble baths, steam shower, and surround sound. Monthly assessments are $906; 2008 taxes are $4,384.
  • Unit #1218: a 3,400 square-foot four-bedroom / 3.5-bath listed for $1.59 million. A south-facing combo unit with an open kitchen, in-unit laundry, and mud room. Monthly assessments are $1,609; 2008 taxes are $8,410.
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