Passionate art collectors, Anita Nagler and Robert Moyer were walking the dog in their east-side Chicago neighborhood when they spotted an artistic masterpiece they couldn’t resist. “With the old bricks, stonework, and a tree-filled courtyard, it felt like something you’d see in Europe or New Orleans,” Anita says.
The house had been built in 1880 as a brick one-and-a-half-story Victorian cottage, with a bay window and front door that faced the street. In 1948, it was converted into the Hudson Studios, apartments where artists could work and live. The front bay was sheared off, gables and pitched rooflines were eliminated and replaced by flat roofs, and the front door and windows were bricked over. The main entrance was shifted to the side, so the building looked into a courtyard shared by a neighboring house, which was also divided into studios and apartments.
In 2000, a developer began returning the buildings to single-family dwellings. “What made the houses unique was that there was a courtyard in between them,” says David MacKenzie, a Chicago architect who worked with the developer, and later with Anita and Robert, to finish the spaces. “Instead of a typical Chicago rowhouse right on the sidewalk, here you enter from the side adjacent to the courtyard.” The main entrance is on the second-level terrace, near the tower-like structure.
Architect: David MacKenzie, formerly of Griskelis, Young and Harrell, now David MacKenzie Inc., 400 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60611; 312/645-0011, davidmackenzieinc.com.
Interior design: Eva Quateman, Eva Quateman Interiors, 220 W. Huron, Suite 2002, Chicago, IL 60610; 312/255-8800, evaquateman.com.
Landscape design: Valerie Lemme, ASLA, 852 Burton Ave., Highland Park, IL 60035; 847/432-1657, and Sculptured Landscape Inc., Glenview, IL 60025; 847/998-5936.
Photography: Bruce Buck
Produced by Hilary Rose