Though hardly commonplace, it’s not as unusual as one might imagine to be able to buy a home in the Chicago area designed by innovative American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. In fact, according to the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, more than half a dozen such properties have changed hands just this year.
One of the Windy City’s Lloyd Wright plums still ripe for the picking — at $2.2 million — is the Isidore Heller House, a Prairie-style residence in the leafy Hyde Park community on the shore of Lake Michigan about seven miles south of the downtown Loop. Home to the prestigious University of Chicago, Hyde Park has long attracted influential movers and shakers: Muhammad Ali, Saul Bellow, Hugh Hefner and Barack and Michelle Obama among them.
Commissioned by Austrian immigrant Isidore Heller, completed in 1897 and composed of yellow Roman brick with rows of imaginatively trimmed windows, the nearly 6,100-square-foot villa stands three stories tall along a tree-canopied street lined with other carefully maintained historic homes.
A designated National Historic Landmark, the seven-bedroom and five-bath spread retains oodles of Lloyd Wright hallmarks — generously proportioned rooms, geometric stained-glass windows and scads of bespoke oak detailing. A trio of stone-carved quatrefoils top sturdy stone columns with intricately carved capitals that frame the front entrance; a Beaux-Arts frieze on the third-floor façade was created by sculptor Richard Bock.
Designed for family living and relaxed entertaining, the comprehensively restored and carefully updated home has four fireplaces, plus modern heating and cooling systems and a reconditioned elevator that services all floors. The kitchen is equipped with modern conveniences (not to mention four separate pantries!); the basement is large enough that the current owners’ children played basketball in it; and the grassy yard offers sun-dappled lawns and shaded terraces.
The property is available through Diane Silverman of @properties.