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Frank Lloyd Wright’s historic Heller House returns for $2.2M

The spacious 16-room mansion has been thoughtfully restored

The 1897 residence legendary American architect Frank Lloyd Wright built for businessman Isidore H. Heller is back on the market in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, following a nearly two-year absence.

Sitting on a oversized 75-by-175-foot lot, Heller House arrived at interesting point in Wright’s career. It display a blend of multiple styles including influences by the architect’s mentor Louis Sullivan, an ornate frieze by sculptor Richard Bock, and the more modern, geometric shapes of the emerging Prairie School of design—epitomized in Wright’s nearby Frederick C. Robie House a decade and a half later.

Inside, the home features seven bedrooms (including a private in-law apartment) as well as original and some restored architectural details including wood trim, brick fireplaces, and art glass windows. The color of the earth tone walls matches the home’s original paintwork, unearthed through forensic analysis. A swatch of the original, unrestored color is framed next to the staircase for comparison. It’s joined by an eclectic art collection.

The bright living room is home to a brick fireplace, rich wood trim, and paint close to Wright’s original colors.

The Woodlawn Avenue residence is now available for $2.2 million. Previously listed for $2.4 million in 2016, the home hopped on and off the market several times since 2012. It’s current owners paid $1.8 million for the property in 2004, records show.

Taking a while to sell is not unusual for Frank Lloyd Wright homes in the Chicago area, which can sometimes languish on the market for years. The Avery Coonley House in suburban Riverside took a full eight years to finally a find a buyer. In Elmhurst, Wright’s F.B. Henderson House hit the market in 2007 and is still available.

While many FLW-designed homes are slow to sell because they require a lot of work, the Heller House received some noteworthy updates in recent years, listing agent Pamela Linn of Compass told Curbed. These included adding new kitchen fixtures and appliances, extending the AC system to the entire home, and updating the elevator that Wright added for the original owners in 1909.

The dining room is decked out in a mix of Prairie School furniture and eclectic artwork.
The kitchen features wood cabinets and stainless fixtures.
The elevator was added by Wright in 1909, 12 years after the home was completed.
Since the original owners purchased the lot to the north, there will always been ample light streaming through these art glass windows.
More art glass in the master bedroom.
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