Gertrude Lempp Kerbis is a big deal in the pantheon of Chicago architects. Her local work spans more than 50 years, and you could say she was out to stick it to the good old boys club helmed by Mies and Gropius. After being snubbed by Mies as an IIT student, Kerbis went on to work for Skidmore, Ownings, and Merrill in the 1950s and then Naess and Murphy (now Murphy/Jahn), helping with the O'Hare master plan. After contributing the highly successful Seven Continents Restaurant building, Kerbis launched her own firm. Given all this, one might venture to call her Chicago's "first lady of modernism", as Preservation Mag did for an interview two years ago.
According to the interview, it was during a Clark Street urban renewal project that Kerbis built her "greenhouse" condos. They're a pretty nifty thing— solid brick splayed open by greenhouse atriums. One unit just hit the market as an estate sale: a 3/2.5 duplex with the signature 2-story heated glass atrium. Other niceties include hardwood floors, exposed brick, in-unit laundry, and a common roof deck. The pics don't do much to sell the space and, seeing as it's being offered "as is" for just $375K, there might be some unsavoriness lurking off camera. The property is a stone's throw from the Lincoln Park Zoo and delightful South Pond. Not a bad prospect.
·Listing: 2131 N Clark St. #10 [RE/MAX]
·Chicago's First Lady of Modernism [Preservation Mag]