WICKER PARK — A 22,000-square-foot Wicker Park home that once served as an orphanage sold this month for $3.1 million.
Built in 1903, 1239 N. Wood St. takes up four standard lots and features a private gallery and a kitchen that opens on to a 3,200-square-foot ballroom, all on the third floor of the home.
Also on the third floor are the master suite and a living room.
The second floor features two large bedrooms, offices, a bar and a mahogany-lined library. In all, the home has 22 rooms, including five full bathrooms.
Outdoor areas on the property include a garden, walking path, a stream and a pond.
The property sold on June 19 for $3.1 million, according to Jay Camp of KoenigRubloff Realty Group.
The former Marks Nathan Home operated for more than 40 years as "a refuge for Jewish children whom life had handed a lousy deal," according to a Tribune report on a 1992 reunion of former residents.
The orphanage housed boys and girls whose parents had died from disease or accident while others lived there "because their fathers and mothers had been broken by the stress of starting life over a new country," wrote Trib reporter Ron Grossman.
Each child was given a Hebrew education, though they were also educated in public schools, and music lessons. Children were required to spend an hour in the orphanage library every day before going to out to play.
Started by businessman Marks Nathan, who left $15,000 in his will to create for either an orthodox hospital or orphanage, it closed in 1947. It later became a meeting hall for the Polish Army Veterans.
In 1987, the building was purchased for a reported $150,000. The owner had it completely rehabbed, according to a 2012 report in urbanturf.com, and, for a time, it housed a gallery as well as a living quarters.
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