After a long weekend away from blogging, we want to ease back into our grind by sharing with our readers the latest in the seemingly never-ending saga of Oprah Winfrey's dwellings.
As we noted back in late 2006, the talk-show queen at that time bought and planned to move into a 4,607-square-foot, sixth-floor cooperative apartment in the building at 199 E. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. Oprah purchased the unit for an undisclosed price, but it had been on the market at that time for $6.2 million. Like many others, we were also puzzled as to why Winfrey would abandon her much larger, longtime, 15,000-square-foot duplex condominium apartment (actually, four units combined into one) in Chicago's Water Tower Place (and no, readers, Oprah does *not* live in Chicago's Lake Point Tower building and never has, despite the never-ending urban myth to the contrary). Our thought in late 2006 was that as Winfrey was spending more and more time at her spreads in Montecito, Calif. and in Hawaii, she felt she only needed a modest pied-a-terre for the few days a week that she actually was spending in Chicago. Plus, we also had assumed that Oprah wasn't enamored of riding elevators with so darn many other people in Water Tower Place (which as anyone who has visited to Chicago knows is one large building); by comparison, the cooperative buildings on East Lake Shore Drive are much smaller, very exclusive and generally sleepy places to live, with many elderly residents.
Well, now, we have our answer. The new issue of Chicago magazine contains a terrific article on how Oprah's life has changed over the years. And, writer (and longtime Oprah chronicler) Marcia Froelke Coburn quietly provides the scoop: while Winfrey did indeed buy the three-bedroom cooperative unit two years ago (and while our own sources confirmed that she only cleared the building's co-op board by promising to make it her full-time residence), Oprah never moved in. Why not? Coburn tells us that Winfrey didn't much care for the fact that nearby residents could see into her windows in the building at 199 E. Lake Shore Drive.
Kudos to our friends over at the Real Estalker for their report a few weeks back about Oprah's flipping of this 10-room unit, which indeed has been on the market for $6,000,000 -- just a bit more than Oprah was reported to have paid for it. Features in the unit include 10-foot ceilings, a library, an inner foyer, a solarium, a butler's pantry/wine room, a gourmet custom kitchen, a laundry room, hardwood floors, a third bedroom that could double as an office, an en suite guest bedroom, and an en suite master suite, according to listing information.
Check out an online listing sheet for the place that Oprah has listed -- complete with photos.
One of these days, we'll provide our readers with a current round-up of all of Oprah's real estate. As longtime readers of this blog know, that's a portfolio of properties that always is changing!