In the middle of historic Printer's Row in the South Loop is a befuddling little building with a surprising secret for its lucky owner. Printer's Row is mostly made of 10-or-more story buildings, many over a hundred years old, yet cut in among those midrises is a peculiar two-story building that's home to the neighborhood's Starbucks and a mysterious, well-manicured green roof. Being so much shorter than the surrounding buildings, many people see that green roof on that short building and wonder what it's for. A reader of South Loop neighborhood blog Sloopin recently wondered the same thing, and commenters were quick to discover that the green roof is in fact a private lawn for an amazing loft home that was constructed in the building, above the Starbucks.
Chicago Magazine wrote a feature about the condo back in 2007, but many current neighbors have no idea that there's even a home in the building. Just as the South Loop was beginning to warm up during the last real estate boom, architect Kevin Fox bought the the commercial building and designed the three-bedroom loft in the second floor for his family. An open-air atrium built into the center of the unit brilliantly serves the purpose of allowing easy access to the spacious green lawn on the roof, and brings natural light into the core of the home.
Printer's Row is where the whole loft-conversion trend took off in Chicago, but who would have known that one of the most interesting one would be not in a massive 19th century printing factory, but in an odd little building above a Starbucks.
· What's Up with the Manicured Grass on the Roof of Printers Row Starbucks? [Sloopin]
· The Great Outdoors [Chicago Magazine]