Castles aren’t always for royal families – and you need not travel to Europe to find them. From the Lincoln Park area to Bridgeport, Chicagoans can live in fairy-tale homes in the heart of the city.
Park West, 632 Deming Place Listed for $8,450,000
Atop this Romanesque Revival mansion is a castle necessity: a tower.
Where you’ll find it: By block requirement, the home is set back 50 feet from the street, creating a picturesque view of a red-brick mansion on green grass, situated in Park West, within the Lincoln Park Historic District.
“It’s the best of the city and very much a hidden gem,” says Missy Lavender, the current owner. “I know that the next owner of this property is going to ‘own it.’”
What you’ll notice: The whopping 12,623-square-foot foundation allows for convenient spaces like a media room, in-law or nanny apartment, attic gym, dog run and sport court. Details throughout include stained glass, cathedral ceilings and skylights.
The main level contains living and dining rooms and a kitchen, office and family room. The second level features a master suite with a stained glass door, sitting area, marble bathroom and oversized dressing room with built-ins.
Details, details: A family with young children, the Lavenders turned the third level into what they call the “kids’ floor.”
It contains three bedrooms and a playroom with a bathroom, small refrigerator and closet – and a tower. A ladder jets down from a small opening in the middle of a wall painted to resemble a treehouse, which leads to a small getaway nook where “a thousand and one sleepovers” have taken place.
Size: 12,623 square feet
Year built: 1895
Taxes: $37,101.23 in 2015
Schools: Alcott College Prep East Elementary Campus, Lincoln Park High School; Chicago Public Schools
Association fees: None
Gold Coast, 1400 Astor St. Listed for $4,995,000
Once home to members of the Wrigley and McCormick families, this castlelike listing sheltered some of the most famous Chicago elite.
Where you’ll find it: In the Gold Coast neighborhood, where there isn’t much out of reach. It’s roughly a block and a half from Lake Michigan, two blocks south of Lincoln Park and about three blocks from downtown Chicago.
The seller, Rebecca Leslie, says the location puts this home above the rest.
“It doesn’t have the amenities of a condo, but this is a home in one of the best neighborhoods in the country,” she says.
What you’ll notice: Enter through the arched doorway, which was equipped with extra-wide doors to accommodate wide ladies’ skirts. Three levels of living space boast details such as mahogany paneling and hardwood floors throughout rooms like the parlor, completely custom kitchen and recreation areas.
A terrace atop the third level gives Chicago’s rooftop bars a run for their money. Soak in sunshine and city views or find shade under the roofed rotunda.
Details, details: Although they aren’t utilized today, many of the circa-1800s details remain, from gas lanterns to an old-fashioned clothes dryer.
“(With) the richness of the history, it takes a unique buyer to be interested in this type of house,” says Leslie. “All of the owners have really made a huge effort to retain that historical value and we’re ready to pass that on.”
Size: 10,000 square feet
Year built: 1886
Taxes: $86,021 in 2015
Schools: Ogden Elementary School, Lincoln Park High School; Chicago Public Schools
Association fees: None
BridgeportListed for $1,875,000 , 3214 Canal St.
Nine years ago, Tony and Maria Anaya were building a home that would bring a grand suburban feel to the city. What came of it was a 8,800-square-foot stone mansion with a roof ringed with an Art Institute-inspired balustrade.
Where you’ll find it: South of downtown, the Bridgeport neighborhood is known for diversity, eclectic cuisine and most of all, its proximity to Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the White Sox.
“I honestly believe this is a period of time where this (home) should really take off,” says Tony Anaya. “We don’t have as many bars and little restaurants, but you’re so close to Greektown, Taylor Street, the South Loop … it’s a great place for people starting out.”
What you’ll notice: Seven stone steps guide you into this modern home, where a bold bridal staircase confronts guests upon entering the grand foyer. The circular second-floor hallway grants sight lines to the main level, which has traditional rooms.
Details, details: Like all good castles, the best part is the top. Take the elevator to the third-floor penthouse, where a media area with surround sound opens to a custom bar with built-ins. From there, take a step outside to enjoy city views, a rooftop pool patio and sport court.
Size: 8,800 square feet
Year built: 2007
Taxes: $15,208 in 2015
Schools: Robert Healy Elementary School, Edward Tilden Community Career Academy; Chicago Public Schools
Association fees: None