The Elegant 19th Century 3-Bedroom Gold Coast Apartment: 1210 N. Astor

This 3-bedroom in 1210 N. Astor in the Gold Coast just came on the market.

The Holabird & Roche designed building was constructed in 1897 for John McConnell, who had recently purchased the corner lot.

Called the McConnell Apartments, there were 2 units per floor in the 8 story structure. According to Neil Harris’ Chicago Apartments, the units were rented by socially prominent families with the top floor housing the servants quarters.

According to Harris, the red-brick, limestone and terra-cotta structure is supported by a steel frame, similar to some of the early Loop high rises.

The building is now 14 condominium units. Masonry facade work was done on its 100th birthday- in 1997.

The building also has the original European style elevator.

Take a look at the massive original plaster crown molding in the living and dining rooms. That must measure about 12 inches deep!

It also has 10.5 foot ceilings, curved walls in the living room and 3 fireplaces.

There’s also a family room and a library in the 2850 square foot apartment.

The kitchen has white cabinets and appliances along with tile counter tops.

The unit does have central air but there is no washer/dryer in the unit. And parking is available next door.

The apartment is listed $95,000 under the 2006 purchase price.

Is this a deal for this much space in this location?

Louise Study at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3A: 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 2850 square feet

  • Sold in October 1988 for $365,000
  • Sold in May 1992 for $515,000
  • Sold in May 2003 for $925,000
  • Sold in August 2006 for $1.04 million
  • Currently listed at $945,000
  • Assessments of $2071 a month (includes heat)
  • Taxes of $15,000
  • Central Air
  • No washer/dryer in the unit
  • Parking available next door
  • 3 fireplaces
  • Bedroom #1: 17×13
  • Bedroom #2: 17×11
  • Bedroom #3: 13×11
  • Family room: 15×13
  • Library: 18×13

 

32 Responses to “The Elegant 19th Century 3-Bedroom Gold Coast Apartment: 1210 N. Astor”

  1. I have yet to find a single condo building in the Gold Coast that charges reasonable assessments. Not that I’m actively looking to live there (I’m under 50 years old), but almost every unit I see pop up there in the MLS has ridiculous HOA fees no matter how large the unit is.

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  2. My inner Veruca Salt just woke up. Too bad I’m not a trust fund baby.

    This place is everything a vintage condo should be – I was all ready to diss the kitchen, but the pantry more than makes up for it.

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  3. Great place, but it needs kitchen/bathroom updating, the lack of w/d is a huge bummer (especially for families), and the building’s situated right at Division, which is a palpably less desirable litttle zone of Astor/GC. Also wonder whether the parking is immediately next door, are residents of this building always guaranteed a space to rent, and how much is that rent. That said, somewhere in the mid-$800’s sounds about right. It is in the NE GC, it’s a block off the lake, it’s big and seems laid out to feel even bigger, and it’s vastly more charming/elegant than newer units in the $900k-1m range in the vicinity. For the money, I’d prefer a co-op at 399 Fullerton or a condo at the Marlborough, or perhaps the Shakespeare (ignoring for a moment it’s unfortunate powderoomlessness). But some folks think the GC is the only way to go, whether for status, to be closer to Mich Ave, or whatever. So who knows.

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  4. European style elevator? Does that mean it’s very small and creaky and only one person can fit on at a time?

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  5. See you at 700k, this place needs a ton of work

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  6. The toilet pictured looks difficult to use. Hard to tell from the pic but the wall bumps out almost right in front of it.

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  7. Isn’t there a Frank Sinatra song….”don’t like Astor Street….. it’s cold and its dark…that’s why the lady is”

    this place looks cold and frigid. If you’re going to pay “Assessments of $2071 a month (includes heat)”, on top of the mortgage, buy a unit on the Drive with a view. At least we’re getting closer and closer to the action: CVS !!!

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  8. “Isn’t there a Frank Sinatra song….”don’t like Astor Street….. it’s cold and its dark…”

    I believe it’s “…don’t like California….. it’s cold and it’s damp…”

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  9. LOL, just adapted it.

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  10. Agreed, this place looks cold…and somehow “unfriendly!” I like the vintage unit on LPW that was posted a few days ago much better, despite its drawbacks. That kitchen is an abomination.

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  11. Astor Street can feel a bit colder than other parts of the immediate hood, due to the wind tunnel coming off the lake. And I always found Astor Place to be colder that its immediate surroundings too, due to the canyon effect caused by the buildings along Astor and Broadway and Cooper Union on the ends.

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  12. “That must measure 12 inches deep”

    Sure does! He-he

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  13. I think the place is beautiful other than the kitchen.

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  14. “Agreed, this place looks cold…and somehow “unfriendly!” I like the vintage unit on LPW that was posted a few days ago much better, despite its drawbacks. That kitchen is an abomination.”

    I think you all are reacting to the lack of area rugs.

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  15. It always seems colder and windier near the lake, pretty sure thats everywhere, even in LP. Uptown is the worst though…

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  16. And maybe artwork.

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  17. “No washer/dryer in the unit”

    Gonna be pretty cold walking in the wintertime to pick up the clothes by the lb. at the Calgon-ancient-chinese-secret place, wherever that is for this location.

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  18. I don’t know what the amenities are like, but am I the only one who considers $2k very reasonable for 2850 sq ft in a building of this age? I would expect the reserves to be well funded…but the $2k sounds reasonable to me.

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  19. “am I the only one who considers $2k very reasonable for 2850 sq ft in a building of this age?”

    No.

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  20. “The building is now 14 condominium units”

    14 x $2100 = $29,400 per month.

    No garage
    No amenities
    A/C, separate meter on electric
    No washer/dryers
    There cannot be a full time maintenance guy for this small a building, is there?

    What do the assessments pay for besides the heat and a % prop mgt. fee? Any prop mgt. accountants lurking? how about some line items?

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  21. “European style elevator? Does that mean it’s very small and creaky and only one person can fit on at a time?”

    It means it is for normal human being not whales : )

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  22. “am I the only one who considers $2k very reasonable for 2850 sq ft in a building of this age?”
    No, it sounds reasonable to me for that much square footage.

    “There cannot be a full time maintenance guy for this small a building, is there?”
    I would bet there is a full time maintenance guy, since this building is pretty large.

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  23. “What do the assessments pay for besides the heat and a % prop mgt. fee?”

    The European Elevator ;)

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  24. “It always seems colder and windier near the lake, pretty sure thats everywhere, even in LP. Uptown is the worst though…”

    what are you talking about sonies i am always warm in uptown!

    come to think of it, maybe that is because when i am there i am walking fast or running or driving very fast trying to get the F@%& out of there

    [insert rim shot here]

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  25. What do assessments cover? It’s a pretty large building–and old, as noted, so the cost per unit for not only heat, but cleaning and maintaining hallways, window cleaning, landscaping, snow removal, scavenger, at least part time engineer to cover issues, Insurance; elevator contract, can add up, not to mention building reserves for roof, and other system replacements, tuckpointing etc. when it’s such a small association.

    I looked up the building and saw on one site that there is a common laundry room with something like 7 state of the art machines, storage area for each unit owner for detergent, etc., tables/racks for folding, etc. They were touting the fact that you can do lots of laundry much more efficiently than doing 1 load at a time in your unit if you could have machines. Seems like an interesting argument & preferable to going offsite, but I’d rather have it in unit!!

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  26. “I looked up the building and saw on one site that there is a common laundry room with something like 7 state of the art machines, storage area for each unit owner for detergent, etc., tables/racks for folding, etc. ”

    I’m sure the help really appreciates that.

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  27. I love this place. The assessment is reasonable considering the age of the building and the cost of heating 2850 sq ft with 10.5 ft ceilings. That extra foot and half means a lot more volume to heat.

    The main flaws are the unsightly external fire escape, which I guess is necessary since this is a 19th century building with no internal fire stair, and the kitchen, which badly needs help. The fire escape is also a security risk- someone tall could easily pull down the drop ladder, or climb down from the roof.

    Would a “European style elevator” be the original beautiful old cage elevator?

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  28. “What do the assessments pay for besides the heat and a % prop mgt. fee? Any prop mgt. accountants lurking? how about some line items?”

    Those washer/dryers in the common areas have to be maintained. The laundry room has to be cleaned (several times a week?) It has the original elevator. That has to be maintained. The hallways have to be cleaned. The lobby has to be cleaned (including the floors where people come in and out with their wintery boots.) The hallways have to be repainted every few years. Carpets have to be replaced. They have to pay someone to deal with snow removal. Garbage has to be handled. Is the entry foyer heated and cooled? That has to be paid for. It probably covers insurance.

    $2100 for 2850 square feet? That is CHEAP! Check out ANY high rise downtown. For that kind of square footage you are easily paying $2000 to $4000 a month.

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  29. This place has some charm, but the kitchen looks like one you’d see in a rental unit of a 3-flat in Lakeview, not in a $900,000 condo. Also, what do you get for $2,000 a month assessment (besides building up funds for the high costs of upkeep for a 100-year old building with only 14 units?) No doorman, no amenities like an exercise room, an elevator that’s as old as the building, etc. And you’re at the wrong end of Astor (by Division). And there’s no parking – next door doesn’t count. And this unit has no view and doesn’t seem particularly light. I can see why the asking price is down from the last sale, but it has to go down further.

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  30. I forgot – no W/D either. It just keeps getting worse in my book. Is there even a laundry in the building, or do you pay nearly $1 million and then have to take your dirty clothes to the local Laundromat? (I’m joking – I’m sure there’s W/D in the building, but for nearly $1 mln, I’m not looking for a place where I have to take my clothes downstairs for a wash).

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  31. I saw another unit in the building that was for sale (since sold) and it was beautiful. Almost the same layout, (but had an extra bedroom) and totally renovated and just really, really worth the 800,000 they paid in 2010. This unit is just way overpriced for what work needs to be done.

    Also, the listing for the sold unit said that this is a co-op, so the assements cover the taxes. If so then that is a steal!

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  32. The Chicago Trib Magazine had a special “renovation,” issue and one of the places featured was a unit in this building. It is owned by a architect/designer and his partner and the place looked freaking great. I hate that magazine as they only show like three pictures so all you could see were a couple rooms but it showed what you could do with a great space like this.

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