“The Lincoln Park mansion built for a wealthy Chicagoan who survived the sinking of the Titanic has been extensively rehabbed and now is being offered as a pair of condos. The first of the two was listed yesterday at $5.65 million.
“When developer Bob Berg’s firm, Foster Design Build, bought the dilapidated 16,000-square-foot former Emily Ryerson mansion in 2017, he said the rehab would wind up as either a single-family home or three condos. No single-family buyer materialized, so the rehab proceeded as condos.
“Wendy Berg, the Baird & Warner agent who represents the condos, said making three turned out not to be appealing, as the third would have no view of Lincoln Park and few historical details, so they revised the plan to make two condos. Now on the market is the upper condo, on the home’s third and fourth floors. The lower condo, which will be larger and have the most historical details, will be completed in the spring and likely priced at about $7.6 million, she said.
“Because the condo begins on the third floor, its east-facing rooms and some that face south have views over the trees into the park.
“The mansion was built in 1917 for Emily Ryerson and her three children, five years after they escaped the sinking Titanic in lifeboats. Her husband, Arthur, a member of the Ryerson steel family, went down with the ship.
“Society architects David Adler and Henry Dangler designed Ryerson’s house and an attached row of townhouses that stretched north from it along Lakeview Avenue. Some of their original details still intact on the lower floors are carved plaster busts over door frames and ornamental columns in the foyer.
“When Berg’s firm bought the mansion, it hadn’t been used as a residence since 1946, and most of its interior had been chopped up, the original features replaced or allowed to deteriorate. Thresholds, an addiction recovery and mental health facility, was housed in the building from 1975 until 2015, when Thresholds sold it to a developer for $2.8 million. That developer did not undertake a rehab and sold the building to Foster Design Build’s investors.” (Rodkin, Crain’s Chicago Business, 1/6/21)
In 2015 and 2016, the Ryerson Mansion was threatened with an uncertain future when the building was sold to a different developer. Preservation Chicago worked with neighboring residents, community organizations, and 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith towards a landmark designation for this house and the three adjoining townhouses. Designed by David Adler and Henry Dangler in 1917, these four buildings are now part of the Lakeview Avenue Row House Landmark District. Preservation Chicago applauds developer Bob Berg and Foster Design Build for an outstanding, preservation-oriented development.
Titanic survivor’s Lincoln Park mansion becomes pair of condos; Built in 1917 for Emily Ryerson, the property hasn’t been a residence since the 1940s but is being rehabbed into two units, with one just listed, Dennis Rodkin, Crain’s Chicago Business, 1/6/21