For architecture buffs, it’s hard to miss the prominent Prairie-style Glencoe home at 783 Vernon that was built in 2000 and is now on the market for $1.69 million. According to the owners, they wanted to build a new house that looked like a Frank Lloyd Wright creation, blending modern construction and conveniences with his iconic, beautiful style. But local architecture experts have a different take. “Why buy something ersatz when you can get the real deal — which is a work of art in its own right — and update it and still spend less?” says Chicago architect John Eifler, noted for both his restoration expertise on historic structures and new designs.
Illustrating Eifler’s point are two modernist gems on the North Shore designed by Arthur Dennis Stevens, the last and youngest living apprentice to study under Frank Lloyd Wright. “Stevens went to see Wright at Taliesin in 1948 when he was only 17 for advice on architecture schools, and ended up never leaving,” says Prudential Rubloff broker Tracy Wurster (call 312-972-2515), who is representing both properties. Newest to the market is 1120 Ridgewood in Highland Park (above and below), a 2,200-square-foot, four-bedroom, 3.5-bath landmark block-and-beam structure built in 1958 and priced at $799,000. It has beautifully preserved woodwork, loads of windows and spectacular grounds by landscape architect Stephen Christy.
Even more dramatic is 7 Timberline in Riverwoods. Built in 1980, the 5,750-square-foot, four-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom home, on the market for $1.499 million, has glassy pagodas that forge a seamless connection with the lushly landscaped 2.17-acre lot. Its current price is a deal; the property has had three price cuts from its original ask of $2.7 million — despite the fact that it was chosen as Wall Street Journal’s House of the Year for 2012.
The Wright stuff
If your budget allows for an original Frank Lloyd Wright home, there are a few on the market right now.
• 4852 S. Kenwood ($1.1 million) and 4858 S. Kenwood ($1.15 million) in Hyde Park. The neighboring landmark homes were both built in 1892 and boast coach houses, nearly 5,000-square-feet of space and five or more bedrooms. Contact Coldwell Banker broker Louisa McPharlin, (312) 915-4724.
• 1689 Lake ($1 million) in Highland Park, Wright’s 1906 board-and-batten masterpiece known as Millard House. The 3,000-square-foot, four-bed, 2.5-bath home won a 2010 Preservation Award. Contact Koenig & Strey broker Betsy Burke, (847) 565-4264.
• 223 N. Euclid ($819,000), Wright’s 1897 five-bed, three-bath Furbeck House in Oak Park. Contact Gloor Realty broker Jan Kerr, (708) 524-1100.
• 636 N. East ($1.2 million) the three-bed, two-full and two-half bath William E. Martin House, built in 1903 and located in Oak Park. Contact Gloor Realty broker Laura Talaske, (708) 524-1100.
Classical update: With its sleek lines, subtle Asian influence and thoughtful features — including five adjustable shelves and construction of FSC-certified reclaimed pine — the elegant Emmerson display cabinet plays to the past, looks to the future and works in many contexts. $1,999, West Elm, 1000 W. North, (312) 867-1770; Westelm.com
Story by Lisa Skolnik