Former Home of Museum of Contemporary Art Founder Foreclosed

September 04, 2012

foreclosures of historic homes in ChicagoOne of the most historic homes in Chicago real estate has been foreclosed. The Oak Park residence of Joe Shapiro, who founded the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, was sold at foreclosure earlier this month.

At one time, the house was filled with one of the best collections of 20th century art in the Chicago area, and the architecture of the house itself contains a lot of rich history.

Shapiro’s home was designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, the same Chicago architecture firm who designed the Wrigley Building, the Merchandise Mart and the Field Museum. The exterior is still in good condition and was based off of a Tudor Revival look that features terra cotta chimney pots and stucco decorated with dot, column and flower designs. The interior, however, has been affected by extensive mold and water damage.

Since Shapiro’s death in 1993, the ownership of the house changed four or five times, though there are no clear records of an outright sale. The residence went up for auction in September 2011 with a price of $1.8 million, but it never sold.

The poor condition of the home’s interior, combined with the fact that the home also has asbestos materials, meant that anyone who bought the Shapiro residence would need to commit to making some serious renovations.

Area Wide Realty listed the home at $879,000 and sold it for $904,000. The purchasers plan to rehab the home.

Would you ever want to tackle such a large renovation project?

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