Open House: Mary’s Logan Square 3-Flat

Earlier this year I met Janet, a very talented interior designer who lives in a massive, gorgeous apartment in a vintage Logan Square 3-Flat. After I finished shooting Janet’s place, she introduced me to her upstairs neighbor Judie, a freelance photo stylist, and it wasn’t too long before I returned to photograph her equally amazing space (you can read all about it in last week’s issue of Time Out Chicago). Earlier this fall, I returned to the 3-Flat yet again to photograph the third unit – Mary’s apartment, which I also love and which has apparently changed very little since she and her late husband George bought the building in 1969. Prior to that, Mary, George and their three children lived in a nearby apartment that Mary’s parents owned, although they had begun searching for a more spacious home with modern amenities in the suburbs. Despite the supposed benefits, suburban life held no allure for Mary, who had grown up in the city and enjoyed taking the El downtown where she worked as an executive assistant for an import / export company. Unable to locate the right home in the suburbs, Mary convinced her husband to tour a newly listed 3-Flat in Logan Square that she’d always loved. “I’d wheeled the baby buggies passed that building a thousand times, and I wanted to see the inside of it,” Mary recalls. George and Mary toured the building and quickly realized that it was no ordinary city apartment. Each unit had a large entry foyer, gracious room sizes, four bedrooms and two full baths – ideal for their family. “Make them an offer they can’t refuse,” Mary recalls telling her husband. He did, and the couple lived there together until George passed away in 1997. Mary loves living there to this day. “I’ve always loved it. I just feel so comfortable here,” Mary says. “This is it.” Thanks Mary!

Mary has actually lived in the neighborhood since her parents bought a seven-unit building on Washtenaw in the mid-40’s. After World War II, apartments were hard to come by, and her parents wanted to make sure that Mary and her three siblings had a place where they could start out life with their spouses. At one point, Mary’s family occupied five of the seven units: her parents in the owner’s unit, Mary and her husband George in a unit and her three siblings and their spouses in the other three. Mary’s mother was such a beloved neighborhood figure that her likeness (silver hair with a bun) was included in this mural at Fullerton and Washtenaw.

Kachina dolls from Arizona.

Mary has owned this furniture longer than she has lived in the apartment.

Mary bought many of her Lladro pieces on layaway. 

Mary and daughter Kathleen. 

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10 Responses to “Open House: Mary’s Logan Square 3-Flat”

  1. Thank you for showing us Mary’s home. It’s lovely. I am amazed that it has 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. I’d like to see more. I’m very curious, now. I love her lamps.

  2. Caroline French 01. Dec, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    What a lovely peek into Mary’s home. It’s easy to see the pride she takes in it. I like the shot with Mary in the corner of the mirror.

  3. Wow, what a collection of figurines. The lamps with the figurines on the bases are really cool, too. My favorite photo is of the cabinet with the mural doors, with all the crystal glassware on top. It greatly resembles the still life painting above it. My mom once had a neighbor whose collection of figurines and porcelain plates was the main decor feature in her apartment – Mary’s place reminds me of that neighbor’s home. It’s marvellous, Tate, that you have now had the opportunity to view and compare all 3 flats in this building. I will go take a peek at the other photo shoots later.

  4. psst . . . kachina.

  5. I love seeing a home that remains pretty, comfortable and not pressured to be changed. So many amazing figurines. Thanks for sharing.

  6. LOVELY PICS:) I really like your blog and will happily follow:)
    I wish you a great week.

    LOVE Maria at

  7. Thank you so much for sharing her story and home–it’s simply lovely!

  8. lovely but plastic on furniture looks cold