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Hyde Park--turning the corner

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> > Kenwood--an anchor to bank on
> > Dining with the stars

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The Sieglers have gone north. After more than 30 years as loyal Hyde Parkers, residents of 58th and Blackstone, they have packed up and moved. And the neighborhood won't miss them one bit. This is not the first time they've done this, but "it will be the last," insists Mark Siegler, MD'67, professor of medicine and director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics.

The Sieglers, Mark and Anna (AB'66, PhD'80), met as students, got married, and in 1972 paid $32,000 for a three-bedroom condominium at 5760 South Blackstone, three doors down from the Blackstone dorm where Anna had lived as an undergrad. "It was an extraordinary stretch for us financially," she says. But they loved the location, a quiet, tree-lined, one-way street, one block from campus, 50 yards from the Midway, and 100 yards from the train to downtown, where Anna now works on educational outreach projects for John Nuveen.

image: The Sieglers

"What are the three most important words in real estate?" goes the old joke. "Location, location, location." The Sieglers had found the perfect one. The area around 58th and Blackstone is "open, airy, bright," says Anna, "a gracious blend of the best that Hyde Park, or anyplace in Chicago, offers." So why move?

By 1984, with four children, three of them sleeping in the back bedroom, "we knew we had to find someplace bigger," she says. After eight months of searching, Anna found the perfect house, 50 feet away, directly across the street, selling for $235,000.

"That house was great for the kids," says Anna. "Plenty of room, and they could roll out of bed at 7:55 and walk to their 8 o'clock classes at Lab School." So, why move again? Why leave a great house in the perfect location?

Because they needed a home where Anna's mother, who has trouble walking, could visit, which meant a ground-floor bedroom and bath. "With both of us working," explains Anna, "we could never survive a renovation."

So they relocated. In May, the Sieglers moved north--not quite so far this time, about 20 feet--from 5805 South Blackstone to the outwardly identical but recently renovated 5801 South Blackstone. Their former house sold for the asking price, well over twice what they had paid, after only four days on the market. "The new house has everything my mother needs," Anna says happily, "plus, we know our furniture will fit, and we've already met the neighbors."--J.E.

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  JUNE 2000
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