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 Monty 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 a 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.