Chicago Home in an Enviable Neighborhood

Chicago Home in an Enviable Neighborhood

I know it is fun to look at “dream” homes that are often huge, over the top homes, especially when they have beautiful interiors. We can appreciate the architecture, the interior design even though most of us will never live in one like them. We enjoy the tours, and often come away inspired. Even these mega residences can offer ideas that we can transfer to our own homes, maybe on a smaller scale. And sometimes, it is simply enjoyable to view them….nothing more than that. I came across this home recently, and it is certainly not small……it has 9,778 sq.ft. on three floors plus basement. It has 16 rooms, 6 of them bedrooms. But please stick with me here.  I was intrigued because as I looked at the inside I found what is not very common…..a home that seems built for a family to genuinely enjoy, not built as a show home. This home is in Chicago, and was built in 2007. It is in the Andersonville neighborhood, which is on the far north side of the city, and close to the lake. What is special about this area is it’s history and how the neighborhood has become a model for revitalization and how to bring back true neighborhoods, places where you want to stay, and where cherished memories become entrenched in the hearts of their residents. I think to understand how this neighborhood and how the homes came to be, a little history will help.

With community roots extending back into the 19th century, Andersonville began when immigrant Swedish farmers started moving northward into what was originally a distant Chicago suburb. During the 1850’s, the area north of Foster and east of Clark was a cherry orchard, and families had just begun moving into the outskirts of the city. The first school, Andersonville School, was constructed in 1854, at the corner of the two thoroughfares, and it served as the primary school in the community until 1908.

After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, wooden homes and buildings were outlawed in Chicago. The Swedish immigrants who could not afford to construct homes of stone or brick were forced to move to the city’s north limits. The immigrants continued to arrive in Andersonville throughout the beginning of the 20th century, and settled into the newly constructed homes around Clark Street. Most of the community was dominated by Swedish businesses, from the delicatessens to hardware stores, shoe stores and blacksmiths and bakeries. Local churches such as Ebenezer Luther Church and St. Gregory’s Roman Catholic Church were also built entirely by Swedish immigrants and reflected the religion of the new arrivals.

Like many other European-American ethnic groups, the Swedish immigrants began to move to the suburbs during the Great Depression and post-war period, and the neighborhood began to experience decline. With growing concern about the deterioration of commercial situations, the Uptown Clark Street Business Association renewed its commitment to Swedish heritage by renaming itself as the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce. Andersonville was rededicated on October 17th, 1964, with Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and Illinois Governor Otto Kerner attending the ceremony. Around the same time, the annual Swedish summer celebration morphed into “Midsommarfest,” which has since become one of Chicago’s most popular street festivities.

During the late 1980’s, the Andersonville neighborhood began to experience a period of revival as professionals rediscovered lovely homes and the close proximity to downtown Chicago made it all the more appealing. New stores, gift shops and restaurants opened and Clark Street had a new commercial vitality and diversity.

Today, Andersonville contains the largest concentrated areas of Swedish culture in America and is home to a diverse community of residents and businesses. Andersonville is considered to be one of the “hottest” neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois and enjoys nationwide fame for its unique commercial district. The locally owned businesses are a crucial part of the vitality and life of the neighborhood, and provide untold economical benefits to the community.

Communities all over the America now seek to emulate Andersonville as a model of a thriving and multicultural urban neighborhood. With its rich mixture of ethnicities and history, Andersonville has only grown in popularity over the years and continues to maintain its commitment to preserving its Swedish history and diverse community.                                        source

The commercial portion of the neighborhood is super family friendly with a European feel to it. I hope the trend continues towards bringing back real neighborhoods. And homes like the one below, which although one of the largest in the neighborhood, was built respecting the architecture of long ago, the new integrating beautifully into the old. Although this home is selling for $2,375,000, it sits along the block with home starting around $699,000. And compared to the ridiculous prices for plain white walls in San Francisco, LA, NY and other cities, it is a bargain at $243 a square foot.

Lovely curb appeal don’t you think?


I never met a front porch I didn’t find welcoming…….


The back of the home with lots of additional protected outdoor space



The back yard is nicely landscaped and is a pretty good size for right in a big city. Apparently, most of the homes in this area have some lawn space.

Main Level

First Floor…….From the plan you can see that there are lot so of windows on all sides. The back of the home faces south, so the rooms will all be bright. Notice the stairs up to the great room…. the floor transition half a level here.



The rooms are nicely proportioned. This living room is 14 x 19, and faces the front of the house.



This is open and spacious, as well as bright. The kitchen part is 15×22, family room part is 14×21, and the eating area is 14×19. I like the dark floors, and the steps lead up to the great room, which is at the back of the house, running full width. It is so bright, important when living in a northern city where winters are long and days are gray.



I really like how the island is stained in contrast to the cream cabinets, and is also curved at each end, which makes lends interest, and relating to the curved transom over the kitchen window. Lovely space.



The built in cabinet has tons of storage, and the top is also curved, tying the entire space together. Plenty of space for kids and pets. Maybe even a pony!



It would be an adjustment for me to look out my windows and see another house. I haven’t had to worry about window treatment for a very long time!



The formal dining room is 14×19. Although the floor plan shows a wall in between the living room and the dining room, it has a cased opening. The dining room also enjoys a deep tray ceiling.



The Great Room which runs the entire width at the back of the house. I like the mantel and over mantel. Like the rest of the home, this room has lovely architectural details, elegant yet understated.


Tons of light! The cathedral ceiling is nice.



The library with a full width bookcase and storage cabinetry.



Spacious mud room. With snow and ice to deal with, a mud room is almost a necessity.



They even managed to place a window in the laundry room. Storage and lots of counter to fold clothes.


Second Floor

Second Floor Plan



The stair case is beautifully constructed with extra wide stairs and a huge window on the landing.



Clever putting additional storage under the window in the upstairs hallway.



The master bedroom is 20×22. The dimensions of the window helps create a scale and balance that does not make the room seems oversized at all.



Another view of the master bedroom.



The master bathroom is not huge, yet is elegant with beautiful materials.



Another bedroom. All are roomy, running 14×14 to 14×17.



A third bedroom. Every room feels bright, colorful and cheery without overwhelming you. In total there are six bedrooms and seven full and two half baths.


Basement level

English Basement level. It includes a garage with radiant heat in the floors throughout the level. Windows all around except for the theatre room.



I like the way the seating is in this theatre room, and those chairs look mighty comfortable.



Playroom for the children.



Another view of the foyer and staircase. The site lines carry you through the home and the varied levels.

I found this home to be beautifully constructed, respectful of the neighborhood’s history, wonderfully elegant and understated. I look at the photo above and I can picture a family with kids, pets, and a constant flow of activity. It is such a pleasure for me when I see real neighborhoods making a comeback. I look at so many homes- so many- that are expensive and have little or no redeeming qualities….and they cost 5 to 10 times  or more than what this one does. I hope you enjoyed this tour. Thanks for stopping by.  Laters, charisse

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  1. Gorgeous! Love the staircase, master bathroom tub, back view of the home, lots of windows and many more beautiful features!

  2. I am in love with this home! Usually, “MacMansions” leave me cold and overwhelmed, but this home had warmth. I could easily picture myself in this environment with my Newf, snuggling up on a cold winter day.

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