Replica of Venetian palace on Chicago’s Gold Coast lists for $4.5M

The 1895 mansion was inspired by the Contarini Fasan Palace in Italy

Chicago /
Jun.June 22, 2022 12:16 PM
(L-R)1258 Lake Shore Drive in Chicago and the Palace Contarini Fasan in Venice (Google Maps, Wikipedia)

(L-R)1258 Lake Shore Drive in Chicago and the Palace Contarini Fasan in Venice (Google Maps, Wikipedia)

One of four historic Lake Shore Drive mansions built as a replica of a 1470s palazzo in Venice, Italy, is asking $4.5 million as it hits the market for the first time in a decade.

Built in 1895, the home at 1258 Lake Shore Drive near Goethe Street has lancet-shaped windows and balconies with intricate carvings to resemble a home along the Grand Canal in Venice, Crain’s reported. Chicago auctioneer Leslie Hindman bought the home in 2012 after eyeing it for years.

When she moved in, “I went up to the rooftop terrace and sat down and thought, ‘I’ve loved this house for so long, and I get to live here now,’” she told the outlet. She listed the home because she’s spending too much time traveling between the Gold Coast house and her new home in Florida.

The inspiration for the home is the Contarini Fasan Palace, also known as the home of Desdemona, the murdered wife in Shakespeare’s “The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice.”

Designed by Holabird & Roche, the home was built for Mary Aldis, a playwright, and Arthur Aldis, a real estate executive.

The mansion was later divided into apartments. By the time Hindman bought it, little of the original historic interior remained. She worked with architect Steve Rugo of the River North firm Rugo Raff Architects to rehabilitate the inside of the home to be “simple, quiet, not dramatic,” Hindman said.

The second floor of the home hosts the formal dining room and living room, which opens onto one of the home’s three balconies. Hindman designed the third floor of the home as an open family room and kitchen combo. That floor has access to two smaller balconies. In addition to the full kitchen upstairs, a prep kitchen and butler’s pantry are on the second floor. The first floor is a 1,200-square-foot, one-bedroom rental apartment.

The top level was added by a previous owner and is set back from the facade line so that it doesn’t interfere with the original design. Because of this setback, the primary suite on that level has a private, 540-foot-long terrace. A study with a full bathroom is also on the top level.

A penthouse room on the roof includes a seating area and another kitchen.

The home will be listed in an agents-only network on Friday, June 24.

[CCB] — Victoria Pruitt 





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