Sunday, September 23, 2018

Gallery: Over the river and through the skyline

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The open layout of the main living space in this 67th-floor condo at the Trump International Hotel & Tower lets the view of river, lake and downtown architecture flow right in. "When I entertain here, nobody can take their eyes off the view," said Brendan Dowdle, who bought the condo when it was newly built in 2009. Designer John Robert Wiltgen used rich fabrics on the drapes and the minimal furnishings to make the space "comfortable but not lavish," Dowdle said. Dowdle has moved to California, where he heads Arraiy, the machine-learning company he founded. He's putting the condo on the market today, priced at a little more than $2 million. it's represented by Phil Skowron of @properties.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

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Its site at a bend in the Chicago River gives the tower not only prominence in skyline views but a position that gives condo residents a unique feeling of living on top of the river, best experienced from inside.

PHOTO CREDIT: @properties

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"It feels like the river originates under your feet and flows out to Lake Michigan," Dowdle said. The view from here takes in the lock at the mouth of the river, Millennium Park and a sweep of south lakefront. Being on the 67th floor, "there are times when you're literally above the clouds," Dowdle said.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

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When Dowdle bought the condo newly built, for a little over $1.5 million, there was a wall at about where the back of this armchair is, with a built-in fireplace. "The way the room was shaped, it forced you to orient the room toward your fireplace," he said, "not the view." Wiltgen removed the wall. "We gained about 15 or 20 square feet of space," Dowdle said, but the real gain was in the living space's expanded relationship to "the phenomenal scenery out there."

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

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In the kitchen, Wiltgen extended the original countertop beyond the cabinets to create an informal dining area and hung a faux candle light fixture. In the evening, Dowdle said, it's nice to look out at the city lights twinkling all around.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

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The kitchen is largely as the original developers finished it. Dowdle, who formerly worked at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, moved to California in 2012 believing it would be a temporary thing. He's had the condo rented for most of the time since then, most recently at $8,500 a month, he said.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

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The master bedroom windows face east. "In the morning you can watch the sun rise over the lake without getting out of bed," Dowdle said, and in the evening, he likes to keep the drapes open because "the city is flickering out there."

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

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Dowdle says he was surprised to find that despite the building's heart-of-it-all location, on a high floor like this one, "it's so quiet. It's like you're in an apartment in the woods."

PHOTO CREDIT:

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The spacious master bath is a neatly arranged group of tub, shower, toilet room and two separate vanities.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

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Another wall was moved to make way for one of two walk-in closets in the master suite. "I wanted to be able to put in all my clothes and not feel cluttered," Dowdle said.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

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Wiltgen reserved design flourishes for the bathrooms, where they don't have to vie for attention with a panoramic view.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

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In the second bedroom, Wiltgen used shelving and a backlit wall niche to break up the boxiness. The room looks southeast, taking in Grant Park. Thus the telescope: "You can see Lollapalooza,Taste of Chicago and all the events in the park," Dowdle said.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

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