The wood ceiling appears to float between sunlit openings above the living room of this Highland Park house designed by modernist architect Edward Dart and built in 1963.
That’s testament to the meticulous attention that its owners of the past 13 years, Kathy and Arthur Hahn, paid when renovating the home. Though Dart designed the skylights when drawing the home for Chicago financial executive Walter Heller, they were not part of the finished house, Kathy Hahn said, most likely because it would have been hard to prevent them from leaking.
“Window technology has changed since the early 1960s,” she said, so when designing a renovation with Chicago architect Katherine Quinn after buying the home in 2005, the skylights were included at last. “Dart wanted this to feel like a pavilion,” Kathy Hahn said, “and the skylights complete that.”
Six decades ago, Heller, an early innovator in automotive finance, commissioned Dart, a master of modernism who designed numerous homes and churches in the Chicago area, to design a summer home at the edge of Northmoor Country Club.
The result was a low-lying house with a wall of glass facing the golf course and a more inscrutable wall of brick and concrete facing the street.
The Hahns first saw the house from its open, glassy side while playing Northmoor’s golf course, “and we knew from there that it was a very special house before we ever went inside,” said Kathy Hahn. Once inside, they saw that “it’s wonderful,” said Kathy Hahn, who owns Adesso, a venerable Highland Park home décor store.
“It’s simple and serene,” Arthur Hahn added. He’s global co-chair of the financial services practice at the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman.
Only the third owners of the home, the Hahns updated it with a new kitchen and baths, some stainless steel accents, including a wrap around the original brick fireplace, and practical touches such as snow-melting pavement outside and a privacy wall in front of the master bath’s wall of glass. The house has five bedrooms, though the Hahns use two of them as an office and home gym.
Now planning to move to a downtown Chicago condo, the Hahns will list the roughly 5,000-square-foot house on Highland Place for sale today. Their asking price, a just below $1.68 million, is less than they have in it. The Hahns paid almost $1.43 million in 2005, according to the Lake County Recorder of Deeds, and their renovations bring the total to more than their asking price, listing agent Cathy Deutsch confirmed. Deutsch, of Coldwell Banker, is representing the house along with her mother, Julie Deutsch, of the same brokerage.