If I could buy anything ~ vintage highrise edition

There are so many amazing places that I would happily buy. So welcome to the first of who knows how many ~ If I could buy anything ~ posts. . . today’s debut edition is all about the vintage highrise {drool!!}

Guys, Chicago has some AHMAZING vintage buildings, but one specific type that I’ve always been completely crazy in love with are the vintage high-rises. Seriously, breathtaking, stop you in your tracks beautiful, outside and in.

The rooms are huge, I take that back, they are normal sized, you know, from the days when you had a dining room and a living room… and a foyer, and BUTLER’S PANTRIES!! {I need a butler’s pantry in my life, they are pretty much the best thing ever}… and that was just normal? Rooms in condos used to be so much bigger, that’s just how life was, the kitchens weren’t as big, but people lived life a little differently back then, and that’s not necessarily bad. Sometimes I really long for the days before open living spaces, shared kitchen/dining/living rooms, and any excuse for developers to squeeze more units into less space, giving people almost no room to move {can you tell I have some feelings about what’s being built these days}.

The rooms are so generous, big, huge windows, bright spaces, windows in the bathrooms, so dreamy {yes, I 100% consider a real window in the bathroom a dream. come. true.!}

The buildings themselves are stunning. The detailing on the exterior is so ornate ~ they did that by hand!! ~ I could just stare at it forever, the lobbies are usually equally as beautiful {even when they are a little dated}, the stone and wood paneling are elements of a bygone era that you just don’t see anymore, there is a richness, sophistication, timelessness to it… here are just a couple of great ones in Chicago…

Commodore Building ~ Lakeview

I’ve always loved this building. A majestic vintage courtyard building. At six stories it isn’t considered a high-rise by today’s standards, but I’m still including it. When it was first built this was a huge building! The unit I’m showing here used to be a ballroom, so it has some extra touches that are unique to just this space. I just love the paneling and that built-in, and be still my heart with that herringbone wood floor!!


1366 Dearborn ~ Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is one chic neighborhood. And $$$ too. This building is such a traditional beauty. These photos are of a unit that is for sale for the first time since the building was built in 1926! Can you imagine how amazing that interior is?! Two adjacent units are for sale for just under a million. I love vintage spaces and nothing sounds better to me that an authentic condo that hasn’t been updated since the 20’s. Look at that trim, and a butler’s pantry! Talk about a dream come true.


Edgewater Beach Apartments

I love this building. I don’t know what it is about it exactly, but doesn’t it just look so dreamy? I love the pink, and all of the units are so generous and flooded with light. This building was first built as part of a hotel complex in addition to an existing hotel across the lawn, and the buildings were just steps from the beach. Can you imagine just being able to walk downstairs and out to the beach, it’s like California in the Midwest! The expansion of Lake Shore Drive ended that bliss and cut off direct access to the beach from the building, but the building itself is still so beautiful, and has a huge private park as part of the grounds. Edgewater is pretty far north {for me}, but I do love seeing what comes up in this building. There are plenty of vintage spaces that haven’t been updated in a million years that have all the right vintage touches just waiting for a new owner to give them a new life. Look at those vintage faucets on that tub! And the paneling in the photo on the right… !!!


Most of these types of buildings have staff; doormen, engineers, some have pools, and stores and conveniences for the occupants in-house as well.

The one downside of vintage spaces are that sometimes they don’t have huge closets {but they do usually have a lot of storage one way or another ~ hello built-ins!} and highrises are expensive to maintain, whether they are new or old, so the monthly assessments can be pretty high. But most, if not all of your utilities are covered in there too, so it’s a balancing act and a lifestyle choice for sure.

Do I think I’ll ever buy a condo in a vintage high-rise? Hard to say, but I’ll drool over them and long to live in one forever, that’s for sure.

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