Survive Winter Stylishly In Ex-Monty Wards Chicago Penthouse

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River North is a section of Chicago that’s a little north and west of the main skyscraper areas of the city. So finding a 28th floor penthouse gives one a perspective not easy to replicate. Of course, it helps when the ceilings are 14 feet tall with edge-to-edge glass. The building is called The Montgomery because it was the home of catalog retailer Montgomery Wards who began operations in 1872 and folded in 2001. It was an omnipresent second-fiddle to Sears. Nicknamed Monkey Wards, in 1939 it was a Wards’ copywriter who created Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer. In the late 1980s Wards also broke the $1,000 price point for a home computer during a Back to School Sale.

Anyway, the building dates from the 1970s and was converted to condos in 2005, five years after Wards announced its liquidation. Being an 1970s office building, it’s not the super sexy high-rise you’d expect to see in Chicago today, but the four-cornered supports enable a tremendous amount of glass across the front and rear elevations. Skirting the top floor of the building is the view seen in the opening photo. You should also note that as a former office building, there are no balconies – except the penthouses with their rooftop terraces.

Floorplans are wonderful to orient buyers

Before we get too far, here’s the bullet – the home is unit 2801, located at 500 W. Superior Street. It’s 4,800 square feet of indoor space with an additional 1,000 square foot outdoor roof terrace. There are three bedrooms with three full and one half bathrooms. It’s listed with Mary Hanburger of Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty for $4.995 million.

Head over to for more drool-worthy details.

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Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson is's condo/HOA and developer columnist, but also covers second home trends on An award-winning columnist, Jon has earned silver and bronze awards for his columns from the National Association of Real Estate Editors in both 2016, 2017 and 2018. When he isn't in Hawaii, Jon enjoys life in the sky in Dallas.

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