James House & Kilmer House
James House is a 43-story high-rise structure with 520 residential units. Although the address is 1560 North Sandburg Terrace, its main entrance is on Germania Place and its service entrance faces LaSalle Street.
Kilmer House is a 6-story mid-rise structure with 96 residential units. Although its address is 1555 North Sandburg Terrace, Kilmer’s main entrance faces Clark Street and its service entrance is on Sandburg’s terrace level.
The two buildings share services and mechanical systems and are connected at the basement level through the garage. Construction of James House and Kilmer House was completed in 1970. At that time, the buildings were rental units. During 1980, they were converted to condominium units.
Carl Sandburg Village Condominium Association No. 7 was incorporated on May 23, 1980, as an Illinois not-for-profit corporation. It began operating on October 2, 1980. Subsequently, the Board of Directors formally adopted the name James Kilmer Condominium Association.
With 616 units, James Kilmer is the largest of the seven condominium associations that comprise the Carl Sandburg Village Homeowners Association. While James Kilmer is responsible for its own buildings, the Homeowners Association (HOA) is responsible for the common elements of the Village including swimming pools, tennis courts, commercial spaces, walkways and driveways, plantings, landscape maintenance, and snow removal.
In 1986, the JK complex played a cameo-plus role in the action-comedy film “Running Scared,” starring Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines as two Chicago cops. James House was where the character officer Danny Costanzo (Crystal) lived. The movie includes brief shots of the James lobby and the Germania Place James Kilmer drive and fountain. However, interior shots of Costanzo’s apartment were done in Hollywood and look nothing like typical JK interiors.
This Chicago intersection has undergone extensive changes during the past 100 plus years. The history of the planned and actual changes, and their implementation, is the subject of a research monograph. This turn-of-the-century German neighborhood corner changed with the growth of the city, especially during the nation’s mid-twentieth century urban renewal period.
Carl Sandburg Village
Carl Sandburg Village is a community of mid-to-high-rise apartment & condominium buildings, townhouses and artist studios located on Chicago’s Near North Side. The area was originally settled largely by German immigrants. Sandburg Village today straddles Chicago’s Gold Coast and Old Town neighborhoods.
The Village’s buildings are named for legendary authors and writers. Galesburg, Ill. native Sandburg was a Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago historian, journalist and poet.
The James Kilmer pair of Sandburg buildings represent the last phase of the Village’s construction and commemorate in brick, concrete and mortar the names of author Henry James (whose works include the classic novels “The Portrait of a Lady,” “The American,” and “Washington Square”) and poet, journalist and literary critic Joyce Kilmer (often quoted is a verse from his 1914 poem “Trees” and his post-World War One tribute to fallen soldiers, “Rouge Bouquet”).
A 1979 Chicago Tribune newspaper article discussed the conversion of Carl Sandburg Village to condos. History buffs may find this interesting. The building conversions were processed in three phases. James & Kilmer Houses were mentioned in the article as being probable third phase conversions.
Sandburg Condos to be $67 a Foot
by Natalie McKelvy
THE FIRST APARTMENTS to be converted to condominiums at Sandburg Village will sell on average for less than $35,000 for studios to $72,000 for two-bedroom units, the Tribune has learned from a source close to the developer, First Condominium Development Co.
The units in the first phase of the conversion will be priced at an average of $67 a square foot, the source said. Prices will vary depending on the floor, type of unit, building, and view. Residents will be given a 10 percent discount.
The developer has made no official conversion announcements, but prices previously had been rumored to be anywhere from $70-$120 a foot.
THE FIRST of the nine high-rises to be converted are also the four oldest buildings: 1460 Sandburg Terrace [Alcott House], 1455 Sandburg Terrace [Bryant House], 1360 Sandburg [Cummings House], and 1355 Sandburg Terrace [Dickinson House].
The four buildings are about 17 years old and together contain 1,134 of the 2,640 units in the complex. The second conversion phase will include 800 units, and the third phase, scheduled for two years from now, will include 625 units, the source said. He declined, however, to say which of the other five high-rises will be converted in the second and third phase.
The prices for the second phase are expected to be similar to those of the first, but third-phase prices have not been set, the source said. However, the developer has set prices for apartments in Kilmer and James houses, which are newer and larger, will be somewhat higher.
IN THE FIRST phase, studio apartments range in size from 473 to 533 square feet and will cost $35,000 dollars or less, the source said. Based on the $67-a-foot figure, one-bedroom prices would vary from about $47,200 to about $55,600 for units ranging from 705 to 830 square feet. Two-bedroom units in phase one, 1,076 square feet and would sell for about $72,000.
The source also confirmed that the development group headed by Chicago developer Harold Miller is buying 200 to 300 apartment units that will be rented to the elderly.
MILLER’S GROUP bought the 2640-unit complex for more than $100 million on February 9, but Miller plans to make no official announcement about condominium prices until March 6.
According to the source, Miller’s group is not making any announcements as part of an agreement with Mayor Bilandic to play down news of the conversion until after the mayoral primary election next Tuesday.
The mayor does not want to stir up talk of a moratorium on condo conversions in the city, the source said.