1457 W Addison: $5 Million Home Is A Work Of Art

When I first walked into the open house preview at 1457 W Addison on September 14 my first reaction was “Wow! This house is a real work of art.” The $5 MM home in Chicago’s Lake View neighborhood is truly spectacular and I’ve never seen anything quite like it but it’s going to take a very special kind of buyer to appreciate this home enough to pay what it cost to build it.
I can not emphasize enough how much thought clearly went into putting together the pieces. The owners made a mini-career out of building this home, scouring catalogs for just the right finishes and lighting fixtures and adding little touches here and there. As soon as I walked in I noticed the fine, stained beading on all the wood trim. It looks incredible but my immediate question was how in the heck do you maintain that? If you ever have to paint the trim how do you mask off a 1/8″ narrow bead of wood? And if you have to repair damage to it…The owners were there and just laughed that you have to stay in touch with all the craftsmen that worked on the place.
The original structure was purchased in March 2005 for only $938,500 and it took them several years to complete the transformation. It took them quite a while to just get the plans together and get started. They worked with a very dedicated architect who was committed to designing a house that would fit with the art that the owners already owned. And as you can tell from the slideshow below the plan worked. In fact, check out the photo of the main level powder room and notice the large picture hanging above the sink. It’s one of the larger pieces of art in the house and this space was created specifically for it. There is also something unique about the lighting in that bathroom that I can’t quite remember. I believe that some of the light comes from behind the painting itself.
As you look through that slideshow pay attention to some of the other details. The beaded trim is visible in the first photo of the foyer and all the floors have rich patterns woven into them with various materials. Windows are seamlessly integrated into cabinets and trim. In fact, check out the kitchen photo. On each side of the central window are glass front cabinets built on top of existing windows so that light is coming into the kitchen from the back of the cabinets. In the foreground of that same kitchen photo notice the trim under the bar. It includes natural copper plating inlays. Most of the ceilings throughout the house are trayed or coffered.
As you might expect everything in the house is top of the line – appliances, plumbing fixtures, light fixtures, cabinetry, wood, and stone – and a wide variety of wood and stone, much of it imported, was used to construct the floors inside and out.
The house, which really only went on the market 16 days ago, is 6000 square feet and sits on a corner lot, which affords more light from the west facing windows. The listing shows the lot as 25 x 125 but I’m pretty sure that’s wrong. The tax records indicate that the lot is actually 42 x 136, which is more consistent with what I saw there. Here are some of the other specifications on the home:

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 5 full baths
  • 6 fireplaces
  • 2 car garage
  • 3 story water wall
  • Custom audio/ video system
  • Patio with fireplace and outdoor bar
  • Garage rooftop deck
  • Custom closets
  • Property taxes of only $15,534 based upon a county estimated market value of only $890,590. Uhhhh…how does that happen?

Here is the description from the listing:

AN ABSOLUTELTY UNIQUE WORK OF ART IN LAKEVIEW! Exquisite details in this luxurious 3BR/5BA, 6000sf floor plan featuring inlaid wood flrs, custom cabinetry, art glass lighting, gourmet kitchen, sitting & sun room, office, 6 fireplaces, 3-story water wall, skylights, master suite w/double sided fp & huge spa bath. Elegant lower level bar/lounge plus multiple outdoor dining areas perfect for entertaining. 2-car garage.
The challenge in selling a home like this is that it was designed and built for the specific tastes and needs of its current owners and it will have trouble finding a buyer who is going to value what was put into it the same way that the current owners value it. And it’s a $5 MM home with only 3 bedrooms on Addison. But it’s very beautiful.

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