When Ludwig Mies van der Rohe left his native Germany for Chicago in 1938, the world of modern architecture was forever changed. In Chicago, the prolific architect crafted the master plan for the Illinois Institute of Technology campus in Bronzeville and designed some of the most iconic residential towers along the city’s lakefront. And while Mies’s minimalist philosophy helped to lay the groundwork for the International Style of high-rise construction seen throughout the world, no other city can claim to have more of Mies's designs than Chicago.
To celebrate the influential architect’s 131st birthday, we’ve taken a look at units in Mies-designed buildings that are currently for sale. A quick search suggests that there are at least a couple dozen of such units available, but here’s a snapshot of what is available right now.
This 840-square-foot one-bedroom at Mies’s 910 N. LSD is fresh to the market. While the finishes don’t excite, the sweeping lakefront views certainly do. As typically found in many older buildings, the monthly assessment is not exactly cheap at $735 per month. This one can be had for $309,900.
Located on the 22nd floor, this two-bedroom corner unit is sleek and stylish. The unit features cherry kitchen cabinets and built-ins throughout and cherry flooring. The big highlight here is the specular view of Lake Michigan. This one has been on the market for nearly 50 days with an asking price of $695,000.
For $625K, this piece of Chicago architectural history can be yours. The unit is located in the Commonwealth Plaza development designed by Mies van der Rohe and built back in 1957. The pair of Lakeview high-rises are not unlike the other residential tower developments that Mies designed, but this one comes at the height of Mies’s career in Chicago.
The listing for this three-bedroom unit at the 2400 N. Lakeview Condos designed by Mies and built in 1963 features virtual staging, but one thing that is clear from the rendered images is how nice the views are. It’s a common thread in most of the buildings Mies designed—while aesthetically the buildings are quite simple looking, the units generally feature floor-to-ceiling views of the city and/or lakefront. While this one is nice to look at, it’ll cost you a pretty penny: the unit is priced at $615,000 and comes with a $1,263 monthly assessment.
Perhaps the cream of the current crop of Mies listings, this spacious 3,200-square-foot unit at the famous 860–880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments is seeking $1.895 million. Designed in 1951, the development exemplified the “less is more” ethos that Mies would become famous for world-round. Highlights of the recent renovation include a slick, European style chef’s kitchen, spa-like bathrooms, upgraded lighting, and a built-in audio system. Like with other high-end cooperatives, prospective homeowners here would be on the hook for a pretty steep monthly co-op payment, in this case $4,186.
- Less is More: Mapping Mies van der Rohe's Career in Chicago [Curbed Chicago]