Living in History in the Marshall Field Jr. Mansion: 1919 S. Prairie

You can’t miss 1919 S. Prairie as you walk down historic Prairie Street on the South Side.

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Many people might not realize that Chicago’s truly rich first occupied Prairie Street before they ever called the Gold Coast their home.

The house at 1919 S. Prairie was originally built in 1890 for Marshall Field Jr.

By 2006, it was converted into luxury condominiums.

A large 2-bedroom unit is currently on the market.

It has 3 fireplaces as well as such luxury upgrades like a Miele coffee center and Toto toilets.

Unfortunately, for vintage lovers, many of the original vintage features were not saved and/or salvaged in the conversion of this unit so there is no original woodwork, crown molding etc.

Nadine Ferrata at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #4: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2227 square feet

  • Sold in September 2006 for $850,000 (parking included)
  • Originally listed in September 2009 for $949,900 (parking included)
  • Currently still listed at $949,900 (parking included)
  • Assessments of $267 a month
  • Taxes of $561 (yes- that’s the correct amount. The building has a historic tax freeze.)
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 20×12
  • Bedroom #2: 16×9

34 Responses to “Living in History in the Marshall Field Jr. Mansion: 1919 S. Prairie”

  1. Well, it looks like a spacious new construction condo. The tax freeze is a nice bonus but I’m not sure what the market is for these…

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  2. How does a 2 bed, 2,000+ sq ft place manage to not even have enough room to move the dining table more than 4 ft away from the kitchen island???

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  3. “Unfortunately, for vintage lovers, many of the original vintage features were not saved and/or salvaged in the conversion of this unit so there is no original woodwork, crown molding etc”

    so much lost potential, so sad :(

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  4. what a beautiful unit! the details and finishings are first class. but, for close to $1M? for two bedrooms? no thank you. obviously too small for a family. maybe a wealthy older couple / empty nesters with an appreciation for architecture and looking to downside would be the right market, but i’m having a hard time believing anybody would fork out anywhere near the asking price for this place.

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  5. Matt the Coffeeman on March 9th, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Why buy this when you can buy the upstairs unit for 150k less?

    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/1919-S-Prairie-Ave-60616/unit-5/home/18941798

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  6. If i was going vintage, this gilded age stuff is pretty awesome IMO. I’m sure the exterior construction is amazing and of high quality.

    For a million bucks in the south loop though ehhhhhh…. not too thrilled about $426 a sqft in this location. Very Very cool though

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  7. nancy writes that a 2200 sq ft apartment is “obviously too small for a family. ”

    Ha. Makes me wonder how my family survived with husband, wife, 2 kids, and labrador in a paltry 1500 sq ft. Why, we were practically living on top of each other!

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  8. The modern interior is a total let-down from the vintage exterior. There are so many better ways to spend $1MM on a place in Chicago, and this will eventually sell for hundreds of thousands less than ask. One on the plus side – this is almost stumbling-home distance from Reggie’s.

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  9. Gahhh, the heart and soul of that place has been ripped out.

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  10. “Why buy this when you can buy the upstairs unit for 150k less?”

    Because 2 extra FPs and non-slanty ceilings and one fewer flight of stairs is worth $150k more to you?

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  11. How is 2227 sq feet to small for a family?

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  12. because the 2,227 square feet only includes 2 bedrooms. if i can afford to pay $900K for a home, i can afford a guest room.

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  13. “By 2006, it was converted into luxury condominiums.”

    Ahh 2006 conversion = disaster written all over it.

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  14. Gotta watch those tax freezes. I’m assuming that this is a resale, given that there was that 2006 sale. The historic landmark tax freezes do not transfer to new buyers. Therein lies another gotcha for new buyers. The developer is going to extract a premium for a tax benefit like that but the buyer will never be able to recover that upon resale. So as the first buyer the value you place on that tax benefit should depend upon how long you plan on living there. If it’s less than 8 years you won’t get the full benefit.

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  15. “this is almost stumbling-home distance from Reggie’s.”

    And Krolls!

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  16. Correction: the freezes do not transfer to second buyers.

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  17. “Ahh 2006 conversion = disaster written all over it.”

    Financial disaster, sure. But iirc, the developer really took time doing this, so it shouldn’t (not necessarily won’t) be plagued by the usual problems.

    “if i can afford to pay $900K for a home, i can afford a guest room.”

    Or bedrooms for each of your two kids.

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  18. No mortgage.

    Appears to be an $850k cash deal in 2006.

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  19. Thanks Gary, I was wondering that. For this price range, the orginal buyer has been saving close to $1000 a month on the tax freeze enabling them to pay a lot more in their mortgage. That’s a huge premium lost. Huge.

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  20. So basically given the tax freeze isn’t transferable this doesn’t appear it will end well for the first purchaser.

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  21. there was a big write up about this place in the Reader 10yrs ago or so. I think the guy bought the mansion and the coach house for around 40k in 93. he was living in the coach house as he fixed it, and didnt have the funds to fix the main house. developers were trying to force him to sell and wanted to tear it all down. guess it’s nice that didnt happen.

    so if the biggest homes in the city, near downtown, can turn to skid row and be had for 40k once, it could happen again. this time to the gold coast….and homedelete will be there ready to pounce as indigent steve heitman sleeps in the gutter

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  22. “so if the biggest homes in the city, near downtown, can turn to skid row and be had for 40k once”

    That took a good 103 years to go from opulent wealthy area in 1890 to 40k in 1993.

    “and homedelete will be there ready to pounce as indigent steve heitman sleeps in the gutter”

    Maybe HD’s grandkids & stevO’s grandkids will reverse roles and HD’s grandkid will be the Steve Heitman of the 22nd century???

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  23. ugh. incredibly unspectacular.

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  24. You could buy both this unit and the upstairs unit and have a pretty sweet 4400 sqft pad for about 2 milly

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  25. Also a bonus for living here your streets get plowed FIRST when it snows since you’re so close to Da Mayor King Daley

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  26. “You could buy both this unit and the upstairs unit and have a pretty sweet 4400 sqft pad for about 2 milly”

    Or you could buy a similarly sized home in Malibu with an ocean view and still have 405k leftover for whatever.

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/27118-Carrita-Road_Malibu_CA_90265_1116065843

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  27. Yeah but then you’d have to live in California with a bunch of liberal douchebags of the worst kind… rich liberal douchebags!

    And I can’t even imagine the kind of taxes you’d have to pay on that malibu property!

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  28. “And I can’t even imagine the kind of taxes you’d have to pay on that malibu property!”

    If you paid list, under $20k/year. Possibly as little at $15,950. Just depends on how many service districts get a tiny piece.

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  29. roscoevillager on March 9th, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Sonies: “Yeah but then you’d have to live in California with a bunch of liberal douchebags of the worst kind… rich liberal douchebags!”

    uhuh – Because chicago is red?

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  30. poor liberals are much more tolearable, at least they have a reason to be stupid

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  31. and I spell tolerable wrong… damn you

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  32. Prairie Avenue mansion neighborhood actually declined in less than two decades, as wealthy moved to Gold Coast and neighborhood quickly became a very poor neighborhood and eventual section of historic “Black Belt”. Some mansions became factory-workshops, others became rooming houses and eventually near flop-houses. Field mansion was abandoned for many years until its relatively recent gut rehab condo conversion; it’s no wonder that little architectural detail survived.

    Prairie Avenue district serves as Chicago’s best example of rapid neighborhood decline.

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  33. “Yeah but then you’d have to live in California with a bunch of liberal douchebags of the worst kind… rich liberal douchebags!”

    You have enough of a yard you can just put up a big fence. Also you can have fun living around liberal clueless douchebags. Remember that show Lakeview Terrace where Sam Jackson’s character goes to there party and makes them all feel awkward & stupid? That would be me.

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  34. err that movie Lakeview Terrace

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