Once in a lifetime, a special opportunity comes along to own an iconic property – this is one of those times. 1516 Lake Shore Drive is an exceptional single-family residence located in one of the most exclusive districts in the country. Homes of this caliber are rarely offered for sale and savvy buyers will recognize the potential of this unique opportunity to purchase this one of a kind building.
A luxury residence like this is not viewed; it’s experienced. Originally built for Edward Tyler Blair, a Chicago investment banking magnate, the home was designated as a Chicago Landmark in 1989 and is listed on both the National Register and Illinois Register of Historic Places. From its magnificent location, nestled among the most impressive buildings in Chicago, the property has housed the non-profit International College of Surgeons for the last 65 years and its magnificent location lends itself to another non-profit or consulate (zoning reference guide). The floorplan is currently utilized as required complete with polished offices, library, and storage areas, many with wood burning fireplaces and all reflect the rich design elements of a bygone era.
Originally built as the Blair family home in 1916, this property stands ready to be restored to its former purpose. Imagine arriving home through the elegant wrought iron double doors into the grand foyer, redolent with marble. The architecture reflects the largess of a French Chateau and boasts 12,000 square feet of meticulously appointed living space. As you move through the home, you will be greeted with rich hardwood floors, brilliant stain glass windows, detailed crown moldings, and subtle marble accents. An experience enjoyed by the very few, the rooms of this mansion are generous in size and afford uninterrupted views of Lake Michigan.
Regardless of the purpose, this home offers unlimited possibilities to the new owner. Meticulously maintained to its original glory, the residence still offers all the rooms necessary for modern living. Ascending the curved marble staircase, one arrives at the second floor. Here you will enter the formal living room with floor to ceiling windows and the original oversized marble fireplace. The room is elegantly appointed with no detail left undone. The most discriminating guests will be impressed by this inviting space.
After a few drinks, you will be proud to lead your guests to the adjacent formal dining room. A sophisticated room, the dining room includes built-in bookshelves, hardwood floors, and paneling as well as another beautiful, marble fireplace. As you and your guests enjoy the delicious foods, their eyes will be delighted by yet more views of Lake Michigan and the lights along Lake Shore Drive.
While currently used as a college, 1516 Lake Shore Drive offers a lovely family room, fully appointed kitchen as well. The upstairs floors, currently housing office and storage space, were originally the location of the Blair family bedrooms and would make lovely bedroom suites or other living spaces. Additional space is also available in the property’s 2400 square foot, two-story carriage house.
Every once in a while an exceptional opportunity presents itself. This is one of those times. 1516 Lake Shore Drive is a jewel in the crown of the Gold Coast of Chicago. It’s been 65 years since this property was available for sale. The right buyer will see the potential and accept stewardship of this piece of Chicago history.