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Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park

Edgewater’s Ken Nordine Mansion, At Heart Of Preservation Fight, Sold For $1.38 Million

The nearly 120-year-old home will be preserved by its new owner, according to sources.

Edgewater's Nordine Mansion has received preliminary landmark status from the city of Chicago.
Patrick Pyszka/City of Chicago
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EDGEWATER — The Edgewater home of late spoken word artist Ken Nordine — once threatened with demolition — has been bought by preservation-minded Chicago philanthropists.

Richard Logan and Angela Spinazze bought the stately corner lot mansion at 6106 N. Kenmore Ave. for $1.375 million, saving the historic home from the wrecking ball, according to sources and public documents.

The husband-and-wife philanthropists bought the home in late May, though a backlog in recording property transactions meant the deal was not made public until July, Cook County Recorder of Deeds records show.

The Chicago Tribune first reported the sale, with the owners telling the paper they intend to preserve the nearly 120-year-old house.

Logan declined to comment Friday evening.

Nordine’s former home on Kenmore was put on the market after the noted voice actor and jazz poet died in 2019. The mansion is the last single-family home on a block zoned for mid- and high-rise housing, sparking a preservation effort among Edgewater residents.

RELATED: Edgewater Mansion, Home To Late ‘Word Jazz’ Poet Ken Nordine, At Heart Of Preservation Fight

Neighbors rallied to try to save it from redevelopment. That battle over the future of the home intensified when the Nordine family sought a demolition permit for the home in late 2019.

The city then extended the home’s preliminary landmark status in March, stymying moves to tear it down.

Now, the fate of the home appears to be settled.

Bob Remer, president of the Edgewater Historical Society which was instrumental in the preservation effort, said Friday he did not know a deal for the home had closed. But he did know interested buyers were doing their due diligence on the home with an eye towards preserving it.

“We are over the moon,” Remer said. “The community really came together to make this happen.”

Logan is the president of the Reva and David Logan Foundation, which was started by his father, investor David Logan.

The foundation supports social justice causes, the arts and investigative journalism, according to its website. The Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts was built at the University of Chicago thanks to a donation from David Logan.

David Logan was a lover of jazz, having funded the Jazz Loft Project at Duke University, according to his obituary in the Tribune. His foundation also helped finance the Ken Burns documentary “Jazz.”

With this sale, it appears the Logan family will once again be able to help preserve a piece of jazz — and Chicago — history.

The home was built in 1902 by the architecture firm Pond and Pond, some of the most notable architects in Chicago history. It was built for the industrialist Herbert Farrington Perkins.

Constructed in the arts and crafts style, the home is one of the last surviving first-generation mansions built in Edgewater’s early years, according to a city assessment of the home.

Nordine bought the home in 1951. He later used a studio in the home to record some of his most notable works of art, including the Grammy-nominated “Stare With Your Ears,” a spoken word album that highlights Nordine’s unique mixing of beat poetry and jazz music, coined “Word Jazz.”

Nordine died in February 2019 at the age of 98.

Though it is said to have maintenance issues, the home is a remnant of the bedroom community of lakeside mansions Edgewater once exemplified, preservationists have said.

“This building helped me understand what this neighborhood was before its rapid change,” Maurice Cox, commissioner of the city’s Department of Planning and Development, said at a committee meeting over the fate of the home.

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