Sunday, May 27, 2018

Gallery: The Taj Rahal

before hits0411-01

Bobby and Johanna Rahal bought this Lincoln Park home in 2015 for $4 million and embarked on a thorough rehab. "It wasn't very old, but we thought it could be much better than it had been," said Bobby Rahal, a two-time Indy 500 champion (as a driver in 1986 and team owner in 2004) who has been involved in several aspects of auto racing, auto development, and car dealerships. The Rahals are listing the Burling Street home for sale April 12, for just under $5 million, represented by Jameson Sotheby's International Realty's Jennifer Mills Klatt.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Bara Photography

before hits0411-02

A wood deck stood here when the Rahals moved in, but "it was not surviving the Chicago weather," Bobby Rahal said. They replaced it with a bluestone terrace, designed by Chicago-based Botanical Concepts' Denise Rosenbloom. Ringed by planters and an outdoor cooking station, it's like an outdoor counterpart to the family room and kitchen pairing inside. The upgrade included redoing the support structure beneath the terrace to accommodate the increased weight of stone, soil and plants. Though many Lincoln Park blocks have alleys, this one doesn't, which makes the rear terrace "feel more private and quiet," he said.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Bara Photography

before hits0411-03

The Victorian brick and limestone facade capped by a mansard roof "has stature," Bobby Rahal said. "But it's not over-the-top. It's welcoming." He likes having a front porch overlooking the walkable street, and noted that it provides a secondary benefit: it creates a buffer zone between the street and the tall first-floor windows, so that people in the living room don't feel completely exposed to the street. Set slightly below sidewalk level is the street-facing garage, relatively rare in Lincoln Park but the norm on this block of Burling Street. The Rahals recently redid the snow-melting system under the sidewalk and driveway.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Bara Photography

before hits0411-04

With tall arched windows, wall sconces, and millwork on the fireplace wall and ceiling, the living room has a formality that "we think is important when we're entertaining," Bobby Rahal said. The family room and kitchen "are more laidback, not stuffy." Radiant heat lies beneath the scraped-wood flooring, installed throughout the first floor in update that John Cannon of Cannon Frank, a Chicago interior design firm, did for the Rahals.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Bara Photography

before hits0411-05

Though the living and dining rooms are formal, they are more open to one another than traditional formal rooms would be, to provide for a more modern flow. The chandelier and wall sconces were part of the Rahals' redesign.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Bara

before hits0411-06

Except for a few appliances, the kitchen is entirely new within the last few years, Rahal said. The old cabinets were so shallow, "you could only put dishes in there sideways," he said. The new cabinetry, as well as the barrel-style hood, butcher block island top and porcelain tile flooring were designed by Abruzzo Kitchen & Bath in Schaumburg.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Bara Photography

before hits0411-07

A curved staircase twists up through the middle of the house. The home also has an elevator.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Bara Photography

before hits0411-08

The master bedroom was oversized but under-equipped, Rahal said. In the rehab, it got several new built-in cabinets. The blue silk wall covering complements the elegance of the woodwork, Rahal said, and its color carries through to the master bath. The master suite occupies the entire third floor, complete with large bathroom and his office. A small terrace is attached.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Bara Photography

before hits0411-09

Tucked beneath the angled mansard at the front of the house, Rahal's office is wrapped in wainscoting. The windows face west and fill the room "with great sunlight," he said.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Bara Photography

before hits0411-10

This bedroom on the second floor, below the Rahals' master suite, was used as the master by previous owners. It could play that role again, as it has a fireplace, large closet and master bath, complete with a jacuzzi tub. The long window seat overlooks the back yard.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Bara Photography

before hits0411-11

This sheltered porch looks east, off the rear of the house. Its view stretches to the downtown skyline.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Bara Photography

before hits0411-12

The view is even better from the rooftop patio, where there's an outdoor fireplace and enough room for both dining and lounging. With Lincoln Park's restaurants, shopping and parks all within easy reach, Rahal said, "we love this location," but a smaller home, perhaps a condo, is this racing family's next pit stop.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Bara Photography

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