Chicago has long been recognized for its lofts: apartments constructed in what once were warehouses, manufacturing plants and office buildings. These units, ranging from 500 to 6,000 square feet, feature high ceilings, large windows, exposed brick, hardwood floors and lots of open space for all your needs! The allure of loft living is the open-style floor plans that can be acclimated to in-home office spaces, hang-out hubs or even extravagant nurseries. Loft apartments are defined by their abundant array of amenities and distinctive avant-garde features like exposed brick and heavy timber beams.
There are many advantages to owning or renting a loft including parking, on-site maintenance, central heating and air conditioning, elevators and loading docks, sun decks, and workout facilities! And remember: location is a must! Many Chicago lofts are within easy access to downtown, public transportation, the Financial District, dining and nightlife. Whether you are looking to live close to work or just want to find a chic place to call home, there are many loft units in Chicago to choose from. And each one is totally unique from the next.
Starting in the 1900s, the first lofts were warehouses converted into storage spaces for Chicago’s industrial areas. Lofts soon became popular places for immigrants and impoverished artists to live and work. With their average 20-foot ceilings and wide-open spaces with lots of light, lofts allowed artists to work and store their art. Although the units did not have heat or running water, they provided basic shelter and the rent was cheap.
By the 1960s, lofts we’re no longer
ramshackle art domiciles. They had become chic, furnished residential living spaces.
Singer and songwriter Patti Smith who was highly influential in the punk rock scene in the 1970s, once held down a loft on twenty-third street, over the Oasis Bar in New York with Robert Mapplethorpe. Other famous artists have lived in lofts like Francis Bacon in London and Andy Warhol on Lexington Avenue in New York.
These days, building codes prohibit many of the setbacks of loft living in the last century, but lofts still come with the rugged, retro feel of their predecessors. Newer buildings are being erected to replicate the original loft’s distinctive features of exposed brick and wooden beams. Now they feature an abundance of amenities including:
· Master bedrooms with a master bath. They also come in one-bedroom or multiple bedrooms.
· Two bathrooms
· One or many balconies
· Floor-to-ceiling windows
· Spacious kitchens with: large islands, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and halogen light fixtures
· Utility room with a washer-dryer set
· 24-hour doorman
On the whole, loft condominiums are perceived as highly desirable commodities that attract buyers from all walks of life especially those that want to be close to Chicago’s downtown scene. If you are interested in a loft, Chicago has hundreds of buildings to choose from and I can help you decide which building most fits your needs. Below is just a sample of what is available.