Sunday, September 23, 2018

Gallery: Our Tower

before hits0620-01

Just below the blue cap of this lakefront Streeterville landmark is Michael and Anne McMillan's full-floor condo, with windows on all four sides. Theirs are the second row of windows down from the ornate trim beneath the blue spire. The McMillans, who are both design consultants, bought the condo in April 2006 for $1.3 million, according to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. They then did a gut rehab that Michael McMillan says cost close to another million. Now they are putting it on the market for less than their original purchase price, an acknowledgment, Michael McMillan said, that "we bought at the height of the market, and that's gone." They're asking a little less than $1.25 million for the 2,350-square-foot condo, which will come on the market June 25, listed with Mario Greco of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

before hits0620-02

The kitchen is a geometrical composition that puts all its mass in the middle of the room, away from the windows and the view. The couple worked with architect Brad Lynch, of Brininstool and Lynch, to develop the look of the interior. Reflective-finish cabinets, the stainless steel island with a marble tabletop extension, and a rectangular niche for the sink, lined with more stainless steel, are sharp but restrained, never competing with the view. The heavy beams in the ceiling are structural parts of the tower, which Chicago legend says was built as a dock for zeppelins.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

before hits0620-03

The ornate Gothic decor of the building's eastern lobby is dazzling, "but you can't compete with that" in your own home, Michael McMillan said. The trip through the blocklong building's ornate public space is a counterpoint of sorts to the restrained minimalism of the McMillans' home. The building at 680 N. Lake Shore Drive was completed in 1924, and the tower that contains their condo is was added four years later.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

before hits0620-04

The simplicity of the private elevator lobby on the McMillans' floor is "a contrast to the Gothic building you've just come up in," Michael McMillan said.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

before hits0620-05

The tower's Gothic columns stand outside the condo's great-room windows. The rationale for opening up this room to span from the east to the west was to bring all that view, both close-up and distant, into the home. The deep, sittable windowsills have marble tops like the dining section of the island, and dark-stained oak floors ground the space so it doesn't feel like one big white cloud.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

before hits0620-06

The stainless steel island speaks to the couple's design goals: "It should be simple and smart and not over-decorated," Michael McMillan said. At the far end of the room is one of the sliding glass panels that can partition the room into two smaller parts.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

before hits0620-07

A butler's pantry next to the kitchen includes wine storage. The geometrical precision of this cabinetry and its flip side, in the kitchen, makes it all feel like a set of blocks that could be folded up and moved aside.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

before hits0620-08

The McMillans use the far end of the great room as their office. It's fitted out with cabinetry that could be used for clothing storage if the space becomes a bedroom, which it sometimes does, for their guests.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

before hits0620-09

Sliding glass panels can divide the space.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

before hits0620-10

The master bedroom has views of both lake and high-rises. The windowsills are topped with marble here, too, and a wall of blue complements the view of water and sky.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

before hits0620-11

The master bedroom's eastern view encompasses a broad sweep of lake, Ohio Street Beach and Navy Pier. The view is unlikely ever to be blocked by new construction, as the rooftop seen in the foreground is the lower portion of this same building.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

before hits0620-12

The view west is of Streeterville and beyond. The neighborhood, McMillan said, "has been a pleasure," with an abundance of restaurants and shopping, and easy access to the lakefront path and nearby beaches at Oak Street and Ohio Street.

PHOTO CREDIT: VHT Studios

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