August 14, 2022

Don’t call it a fire sale.

A four-bedroom, four-bathroom Windy City home that survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 — specifically, one of just three houses in the North Side that dodged the wrath of the days-long conflagration — has listed for $2.39 million, its listing brokerage told The Post.

Standing at 2121 N. Hudson Ave. in prime Lincoln Park, this 1869-built residence has since been enlarged by the current owners — and they owe their thanks to a Chicago policeman named Richard Bellinger.

Bellinger, the original owner of the property, is said to have saved the structure by dousing it with water — and when that ran out, he turned to his stock of cider. With help from his brother-in-law, Bellinger additionally cleared the grounds of dry leaves, tore up a nearby wooden sidewalk — and whenever sparks landed, snuffed them.

The Lincoln Park, Chicago, home dates to 1869 — two years before the Great Fire.
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The exterior staircase is one of several original details that remain.
The exterior staircase is one of several original details that remain.
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The October 1871 fire spread through a wide swath of Chicago, killing 300 people.
The October 1871 fire spread through a wide swath of Chicago, killing approximately 300 people.
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A rapidly growing city at the time of the fire, some 100,000 Chicago residents were left homeless.
A rapidly growing city at the time of the fire, some 100,000 Chicago residents were left homeless.
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Whatever the strategy, Bellinger benefited greatly from the outcome. The fire began on Oct. 8 that year and tore through a swath of the city until the early hours of Oct. 10. Chicago had gone months without rain — and a fire the night of Oct. 7 left city firefighters exhausted and with their equipment damaged. The blaze began on the West Side of the city, in a barn belonging to Patrick and Catherine O’Leary, though its cause remains unknown.

Wind from the southwest helped fuel the fire’s spread, which reached its end only due to rainfall, the expanse of Lake Michigan and unbuilt lots on the North Side, where this home remains. Still, the fire killed roughly 300 people, left nearly 100,000 homeless, ripped through more than 17,400 buildings across 3.5 square miles and inflicted $200 million — $4.71 billion in today’s inflation-adjusted figures — of damage after destroying approximately a third of the city.

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The living room has a two-story ceiling.
The living room has a two-story ceiling.
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West and south-facing windows give the living room natural light.
West and south-facing windows give the living room natural light.
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Despite its story of beating the odds, the home also comes with architectural pedigree. The Massachusetts-born architect W.W. Boyington lent his touch to this house — and to a number of other city buildings in the years before the fire, the bulk of which were destroyed. Beyond this home, another Boyington design that remains standing is the city’s famed Water Tower on Michigan Avenue.

The library has a fireplace.
The library has a fireplace.
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The kitchen sports an antique tiled floor.
The kitchen sports an antique tiled floor.
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A small sitting and storage area.
A small sitting and storage area.
VHT Studios

Back in Lincoln Park, this listed home measures 3,650 square feet and stands on a 46-foot lot. Among its original details that remain, a staircase on the outside of the home that leads to the main level.

Bette Bleeker, a broker at @properties/Luxury Portfolio International, has the listing, and told The Post that although the history fascinates many, the home’s location, its size and its style also merit attention.

“It’s a unique house to Chicago and a really unique house to the Lincoln Park neighborhood,” she said, adding that on this avenue, structures are mostly brick. “The history, of course, is a nice little story to have about the house.”

Inside, the living room has a two-story cathedral ceiling and windows that face south and west. A library comes with a double-sided fireplace. The kitchen has oak cabinets, granite counters and an antique French-tiled floor. A flexible great/dining room leads outside, where there’s space for grilling and dining, a fountain and a vegetable garden. There’s also a two-car garage with storage space.

Back inside, the master bedroom has a private outdoor deck. Meanwhile, a lower-level bedroom, media room and bathroom has its own entrance and could be used as a home office space.

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Beyond owning a home with standout history and with well-maintained details, Bleeker added there’s another bragging right.

“If you say the address in Chicago, almost everyone knows what it is because it’s so unique,” she said.