Buyer Wanted: Landmarked Chalmers Place Townhouse Listed for Sale

“A Lincoln Park rowhouse, part of a 19th-century cluster built to generate rental income for the McCormick Theological Seminary, is for sale for the first time since 1975.

“Wayne Russell is asking a little under $1.28 million for the six-bedroom, 5,200-square-foot home on Chalmers Place. The middle unit in the photo at the top of this story, it’s in the McCormick Row House landmark district, about 50 row houses on Chalmers, Fullerton and Belden that are now mostly surrounded by the DePaul University campus.

“Represented by Connie Grunwaldt of @properties, the row house retains many of its original features from 1889, including tile surrounds on its five fireplaces, ample wood details on the staircase, walls and fireplaces, a pocket door, and an operable skylight for letting heat rise up through the house to cool the interior.

“Chalmers is a double lane, with a common lawn space running down the middle that is known as the green. That and the fact that it’s accessed only through a gate, which sharply reduces traffic, makes it ‘a coveted location,’ Grunwaldt said.

“The McCormick Seminary, which was founded in 1829 in Indiana, was at Halsted and Fullerton from 1859 and used the row houses as residences for students and faculty and for rental income. In the mid-1970s, planning a move to Hyde Park, where it still is today, the seminary’s officials did not want the old rowhouses replaced by a high-rise, Russell said, so they sold the entire rowhouse cluster to an investor group that in turn sold the units to individual buyers.

“Having lived in the rowhouse cluster for decades, Russell has been inside many of them and said he believes his is among those with the most original features intact. He said that may be because, as an internal unit with no side windows, it was assigned to lower-level faculty.

“Some have been demolished over the years, but the seminary originally built 64 rental units, designed by A.M.F. Colton & Son with, according to a history of the district, extensive input from Nancy ‘Nettie’ McCormick. She was the wife of Cyrus McCormick, whose McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, later International Harvester, made them one of Chicago’s wealthiest families in the late 1800s. The idea for the central green and much of the look of the homes came from her, according to the history.

“‘To each building in addition to money she had given uncounted hours in consultation with architects, builders, seminary committees’ and others, the historical article quotes a biographer writing of Nettie McCormick. ‘Those who know her ways have said, with pardonable exaggeration, that she knew every stick and brick in any building that she gave.'” (Rodkin, Crain’s, 3/26/21)

Read the full story with photos at Crain’s Chicago Business

Historic Lincoln Park row house on the market; The Chalmers Place home hasn’t been for sale since the McCormick Theological Seminary moved out of the neighborhood in the mid-1970s, Dennis Rodkin, Crain’s Chicago Business, 3/26/21


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