Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Gallery: "Big back yard in the sky"

before hits0502-01

Gothic details of Willoughby Tower command the initial view as people step out onto the terrace of Alexis Kertsikoff's terrace, but "then they go down the stairs and see the real view: the park, the lake. It's the best kind of view in Chicago, and some people have to wait in line to get into restaurants so they can take a look. I'm living it, right here." Her three-bedroom condo is on the 18th floor of 6 N. Michigan; the eastern view from its terrace points directly at the lawn and trellis roof of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. The condo will come on the market next week with an asking price of $3 million. Phil Skowron of @properties is the listing agent.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

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When shopping for a downtown condo about a decade ago, Kertiskoff recalls, "I walked out here and immediately said, 'I don't have to see any others. This is it," The condo has 1,200 square feet of terrace, or about one-third the space it has indoors. "I have as much room outside as you need for a yard," she said. It's furnished with seating and dining groupings, with ample room left over for entertaining crowds.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

before hits0502-03

Visitors entering the condo see this view first. Leo Designs of Chicago devised the lacquered wood screens to give this sitting room a feeling of enclosure without blocking the view. It's set apart from the great-room layout of the main living space. Leo Designs played a little trick with the view, hanging a mirror on the wall at right that gives the room a reflected view of Lake Michigan.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

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Mohair lines the cushioned wall of the nook, and a bubbly chandelier hangs overhead. They help make this "a sexy little room," Kertsikoff said.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

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"The kitchen needed to be not very kitcheny, because it's present in the living, dining and family room," Kertsikoff said. Nearly everything is tucked behind lacquered doors or into drawers, and the mostly-white palette continues throughout the larger space.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

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The breakfast area has a banquette built into a historical arch. The smallish windows on some walls, Kertsikoff said, "are what you see in every postcard image" of the landmark building, designed in 1898 by Schmidt, Garden & Martin. They're protected as part of the historical facade.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

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The windows are far larger in the master bedroom, and open onto Juliet balconies. The master bedroom was expanded from its original size, taking most of a smaller bedroom.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

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"The first thing you see from your bed in the morning is the sun over Lake Michigan and the park," Kertsikoff said.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

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Each of the two secondary bedrooms has tall windows and a Juliet balcony, with views of the neighboring architecture 'and the lights at night," Kertsikoff said.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

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When planning a move with her kids a decade ago, Kertsikoff recalled, "I felt the single biggest loss in condo living is outdoor space." The condo she found has this large space nestled on a shoulder of the building, beneath its ornate, arched tower. "I got the best of both worlds: a suburban yard in a downtown condo." The corner windows seen immediately above the far end of the terrace are her master bedroom, in a 1920s addition to the original Ward's building.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

before hits0502-11

From the master bedroom, the view takes in the terrace, architectural details of the tower at left, and museums, parks and lake.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

before hits0502-12

Her terrace is wired for outdoor music, "so you can have your own concert or listen to theirs," the ones in the Pritzker Pavilion, Kertsikoff said.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

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