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Private Libraries: Five Condos with Really Good Ones

Here now, for those who still have a soft spot for the book, our top on-the-market library finds. We had to impose some basic criteria: we decided to stick with condos, (since libraries are a little less expected); and, we eliminated libraries with televisions (with one exception), of which there are loads. If you've got better ones, don't hesitate to send 'em along via the Curbed tipline.

Listing: 1120 N Lake Shore Dr. #7B [Coldwell Banker]
The Skinny: Here's our traditional pic. The heavy wood paneling, antique leather furniture, and fireplace fit the unit's overall proper English feel. The hardwood floors are in "mint" condition, and the 7th floor corner unit overlooks the lake. Once a 3-bed, one was sacrificed in favor of a new master suite. It's in a coop building, so you'd better pour on the charm. Asking $699K and new to market.

Listing: 1448 N Lake Shore Dr. #1A [Baird & Warner]
The Skinny: This one-bed Gold Coast condo, also right on the lake, is part staid, part whimsical. The luscious red library is the meeting of the two. We like the turquoise kitchen tile. Fun. Happily, this is one our readers might actually be able to afford. It's currently asking $575K.

Listing: 209 E Lake Shore Dr. #12E [Jameson Sotheby's]
The Skinny: Not that any of our pics are cheap, but this is one of the most expensive units on the market. Period. Published in Metropolitan Home, this 5,800 sf high-floor condo doesn't need a library to win you over, even a pastel green one. The place has a built-in art gallery for Pete's sake! Architect Dirk Denison is credited with the 2.5-year renovation. The library stands as its quirkiest feature, hands down. It irks us to see that flat-screen TV, but we'll give it a pass. Asking $7.25M.

Listing: 20 E Cedar St #10B [Coldwell Banker]
The Skinny: This simple yet elegant library has the most literature per square foot of any of our selections. The duplex unit has a two-story grand room and a very nice kitchen. And the Gothic Revival building is one of those that really pops as you bike past Oak Street Beach. The unit has been on-and-off the market for nearly two years and is currently priced at $1.6M. Hold on to your hats: it last sold in 1987 for $310K!

Listing: 1500 N Astor PL #6 [Koenig & Strey]
The Skinny: This extended family-sized library looks a suitable place for long days of research. Just so happens, it belongs to a 3,700 sf unit in the famed Paterson-McCormick mansion. There's plenty else to capture your attention, but this library stands as possibly the best room in a palace of wood and marble, and certainly one of the largest home libraries we've seen. The Ask? $2.85M.