The penthouse that taught us to expect big events above our heads has finally found a buyer. Arranged like a contemporary gallery with sculpture garden, the unmatched penthouse at Ralph Johnson's Contemporaine went for $2.4M after an initial 2011 ask of $3.4M. The Japanese rock gardens would be a bit much if crammed into a lesser terrace, but they're allowed to roll across significant real estate — 3,000 square feet of conjoined terrace. Sitting areas, balconies, and paths are of course provided for. The garden extends into one corner of the home and a window wall connects the owner to it almost as directly. The minimalist and muted interiors don't try to compete, and, in fact, outdoor square footage almost equals indoor. As our June 2011 visit revealed, a tiny north-facing balcony is accessed from a secret door behind the pants closet. There's also a master bath with a window to the outdoor waterfall, and a master switch that puts the indoor fountains and aroma therapy system to work. Don't count on getting another shot at this place anytime soon.
·Listing: 201 W Grand Ave. Ph2 [Koenig & Strey]
·Contemporaine Penthouse w/ Rampant Terraces Now $2.5M [Curbed Chicago]
·Zen Vibes Atop Contemporaine + A Secret Balcony [Curbed Chicago]