Perched on the 41st floor of the eastern tower of Chicago’s iconic Marina City complex, this thoughtfully restored one-bedroom condo faithfully celebrates the building’s midcentury modern roots.
“When we bought the unit, it was probably 98 percent original,” owner and architect Michael Jividen tells Curbed Chicago. “It had been a rental, so it was pretty worse for wear. We intended to restore as much as possible.”
Unlike many other Marina City renovations, the remodel kept the existing floorplan intact and avoided opening up the kitchen. Instead of repainting the original steel cabinets, the couple followed a more unusual (and durable) route and had them blasted and powder-coated by a Chicago-area auto shop.
The original vinyl flooring was long since removed, but Jividen and his wife looked to traces of left-over adhesive to help them select similarly-scaled 12 by 12-inch cork panels. New tile mosaic work in the kitchen and bathroom was based on the color of original tiles discovered during demolition.
“It’s like restoring a vintage car,” explains Jividen. “You want to repair as much as possible and use in-kind replacements for the things that can’t be saved.” Artistic liberties include refreshed kitchen appliances, stone countertops, and a new bathroom vanity. A selection of midcentury modern styled furniture completes the look.
As their family grew, the current owners quickly realized that they had outgrown their cozy 735-square-foot downtown space and listed the property for $290,000. “It has been a labor of love, and it is painful to sell,” Michael tells Curbed.
For buyers looking for a functional one-bedroom with authentic space-age vibes, this attractive Marina City example—complete with a northwest-facing balcony—might be hard to beat.