A home reminiscent of Barbie’s Dreamhouse is on the market in Chicago.
By Danielle Braff
(Chicago) Chicago’s one and only life-size Barbie Dreamhouse has finally hit the market.
The pastel-colored 5 bedroom, 2.5-bathroom, 2,600 sq ft home on the 1500 block of West Pratt Blvd in Rogers Park is on the market for $600,000, and is expected to go quickly.
Over its lifetime, this home has been described by neighbors as the “Candyland house,” “Barbie’s Dream House,” and the “Rainbow Cone Home.” Inside and out, it was painted in shades of light pink, light blue/green, peach and yellow. Even the piano was painted pink and teal. Inspiration for the home’s decor came from the local yet now closed Edgewater Beach Hotel, which had a vintage Art Deco style complete with pink apartments. It was visited by Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland.
This home has become nearly as infamous.
“Everything is pastel colors mixed with glitter from the inside out,” says Kathy Schrage, realtor with Redfin and lead agent on the home. “For the past 40 years, people have been driving by, and it definitely catches your eye.”
The 1891 home on a double lot had been owned by artists Jackie and the late Don Seiden for 47 years. Don Seiden, who died in 2019 at the age of 92, was an artist and an art therapy pioneer. He founded the art therapy department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Jacki Seiden, who recently moved into an apartment, is an artist and art teacher, and she held classes in the third floor loft space in her Barbie Dreamhouse. Don Seiden transformed the garage into a two-level art studio, complete with skylights, heating and air conditioning, Schrage says.
When the couple originally moved into the home, it was painted olive green - but that was immediately remedied.
“Jackie wanted to bring color into the home,” Schrage says. The house became their personal art piece, and they even painted the fixtures in pastel shades to match the rest of their decor. The window shades are rainbows of pastels, and the radiator is solid pink. Their silverware had pink painted handles.
First listed in April for $525,000, the home went under contract within a week, but it was back on the market the following month, this time asking $600,000. Schrage says the increased price was the sellers’ decision: They put the home on the market not knowing the reaction it would receive.
“We knew it was a special home, and we got quite a few offers on the original listing,” Schrage says. “We’ve gotten a lot of showings lined up already, so we think the price is pretty good, especially because it’s a double lot.”
The majority of the people interested in the home have been other artists who appreciate the value of the home being non-traditional, Schrage says. The house doesn’t have modern appliances, but some areas of the home have been updated with new sliding doors, skylights and other upgrades. Still, there are oddities beyond the colors. There’s a bathroom with no doors - and while there are plenty of studios, there’s no garage.
It’s a big year for the Seiden couple, who are the subjects of “So Late, So Soon,” a new documentary expected to be released in October by the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in February focusing on their careers and lives. Their home almost plays a starring role in the documentary, as much of it was filmed there, detailing the eccentricities and quirks in their lives.
For more information on the listing, check out this link.