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This Heavenly Condo Inside Converted Lakeview Church Will Blow You Away

By Ariel Cheung | May 10, 2017 6:12am
 A Lakeview condo unit housed inside a converted church is up for sale.
Stunning Home Of Converted Church Condo's Designer Up For Sale
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LAKEVIEW — Call it a case of divine intervention, but there's no doubt that a condo now listed for sale inside a converted church has the "wow" factor.

The largest unit inside Cathedral Place, 3101 N. Seminary Ave., went on the market in late April for $1,569,000 through a @properties-exclusive listing.

The condo was first home to Alexander Pearsall, the developer who decommissioned the former Trinity Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church in 2002 and turned it into a five-condo building known as Cathedral Place.

Retaining the 121-year-old structure of the late-1800s gothic revival church gave the four-bedroom condo inside vaulted cathedral ceilings and sweeping arches that recall the majesty of the building's original purpose. Architects were able to "beautifully integrate historic architecture with new," @properties broker Phyllis Stellato said.


"It has been such a unique experience that every single day, somebody walks through the door and their jaw just drops," Stellato said. "I'm going to be thrilled when it sells, but I'm going to be so sorry not to have something so spectacular to show."

There are a couple major points that potential buyers frequently marvel over, Stellato said: The "massive" and "gorgeous" master suite and the sheer size of the home — 4,411 square feet.

The master suite of a condo inside a renovated 1896 church at 3101 N. Seminary Ave. in Lakeview features a dressing room and luxurious bathroom. [Provided photos/Elizabeth Harper/VHT Studios]

Each element has been tailored with such care, "you can see that this was built by someone for themselves," Stellato said. "The ironwork in the banisters was built to mirror the arches of the exterior windows. A developer is not going to pay that much attention to detail in a place they won't be living in."

Back in 2002, newlywed real estate developer Pearsall bought what was then known as Church of the Valley Assemblies of God, promising neighbors they would not change the building's exterior in exchange for permission to renovate it, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Built in 1896, the former Trinity Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church was decommissioned in 2002 and converted into Cathedral Place condominiums.

The congregation had grown smaller, and leaders were looking for a venue better suited to their needs, Pearsall and his wife said at the time.

From the start, developers knew preserving as much as possible would work best for the 20,000-square-foot church, originally built in 1896, they told the Tribune

"Every piece — all the pews, the light fixtures, every piece of woodwork, the staircases, all the stained-glass — was saved at a warehouse," Pearsall said. "We didn't know what we were going to do with it, but we knew it was too valuable to throw out."

While keeping classic features intact, designers also wanted to add contemporary elements to keep the new home from feeling dated or predictable.

The fourth floor of the condo inside a renovated 1896 church opens to the bell tower, which has been turned into a personal gym.

On the fourth floor, for example, a massive bell still hangs in the bell tower, which Pearsall first used as a dining room. In its current form, the room is a personal gym perched above the master bedroom's luxurious dressing room and professionally organized closet.

Inside the master suite, a walk-in double shower sits next to an infinity tub and double-bowl vanity made from the church's original front door.

Cabinets inside the master bathroom pull design elements from the sweeping bows of the cathedral.

The master suite dressing room.

Hints of the building's past are scattered through the condo, from the church pews that became dining chairs to the original Murano glass chandeliers that hang above the living room.

Each of the four bedrooms has its own bathroom, and there's an additional powder room. Along with a recently updated kitchen, the condo has a SubZero wine cellar, 29-foot terrace and a library and office that opens above the second-floor living room, which has a stone fireplace.

The living room opens to a terrace, with the library and office directly above.

The office and library on the third floor open below to the living room and have key views of the Murano glass chandeliers.

Modern features, combined with the historic architecture, add an essence of luxurious living to the unit. A heated four-car garage includes a Tesla charging station, while Smart Home technology runs throughout the unit.

Annual property taxes on the condo run around $23,362, with a homeowner assessment of $1,046 per month. The last time it was on the market in 2014, it was listed for $1,575,000.

Chicago's converted church-to-condo market is "mostly church with a dash of synagogue," according to a 2013 Curbed Chicago feature.

But other church listings are smaller or lack the elegance of Cathedral Place, Stellato said.

"It's great to walk through the property for the umpteenth time with somebody who's seeing it with fresh eyes," Stellato said. "The property is truly one-of-a-kind."

The kitchen was recently updated and has glass-front cabinets, a large island, double-height stone counters and a six-burner range oven with convection and standard ovens.

The master bedroom opens to an expansive view from the cathedral windows.

The second bedroom is shaped by the sweeping arches of the former church building.

The third bathroom off a bedroom on the third floor of a condo housed inside a converted church

A fourth bedroom designed as a media room with a home theater housed inside a renovated 1896 church

A second-story terrace opens from the living room of the condo and has a built-in Viking grill.

A heated four-car garage is attached to the condo building.