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Curbed Awards 2013: The Homes!

The Curbed Awards continue today with a lovingly generated greatest hits list of awesome, craptastic, ambitious, and brutal real estate. We scoured our 2013 back issues to confidently reward standouts of the year. Here they are.

Best Renovation— This is always a tough selection, even when culled from Curbed's small sample. But there's just something about the tact in positioning a monumental greystone to reflect its 1890s heritage (with architectural treatments by Horatio Wilson) while allowing for modern appliances, lighting, newly designed marble bathrooms, a media room, and, best of all, a double-height living room w/ herringbone floors and a wraparound balcony. It all works, against the odds. Oh, and you can still find it on the market in Kenwood for $1.5M.

Outrageous Amenity— A Buena Park mini-manse with saltwater pool, waterfall, and hot tub hit the for-sale market in January after appearing as a $12,000/month rental in 2010. That event renewed Curbed's interest in the bugger, once asking $3.15M but now off the market. Other noteworthy amenities join in—home theater, huge weight room, wet bar, billiards room, terraces—but don't quite run the show the way the backyard aquatic resort does.

Celebrity Newsmaker— Michael Jordan should probably be a shoe-in here, but we're tired of talking about his North Shore flailings (and, he took this category last year). Instead we present our case for Billy Corgan. In 2012, the semi-retired rocker opened a Highland Park teahouse. But his real estate activity in 2013 topped that: at the start of the year he finally sold his Gold Coast condo, albeit for half its original list price; and in October Corgan tacked on an extra acre to his already-six-acre lakefront Highland Park estate. That move included the rejoining of his mansion with its original 4,600-square-foot coach house.

Most Hideous— We like Bridgeport—good neighborhood—but can't quite crack its appetite for oversized, gaudy new-builds. They mostly congest the section of the neighborhood nearest to U.S. Cellular Field and industry. It's an event when one of these McMansions opens their doors to the multiple listing service; there's always some wackiness within. This recently-listed three-bed begins with a cheap take on classical porch columns, and continues with a kitchen with columned entry, black marble flooring, a 15-foot stacked marble fireplace, multicolored checkered basement, and a tacky backyard consisting exclusively of patio and mediterranean stone garden. She can still be yours for $799K.