The legendary modernist architect Mies van der Rohe created some of the most revered and enduring masterworks of the style, like the Barcelona Pavilion and Illinois' Farnsworth House, but that celebrity doesn't mean that his buildings are entirely unattainable for regular folks. The rectilinear Highfield House in Baltimore, Md., completed in 1964, plays host to some pretty snazzy renovated apartments, but this is not one of them. Listed as an estate sale, the 911-square-foot, one-bed, 1.5-bath flat is in a pretty dire state, with heavily worn floors, sad floral wallpaper, and a hodge-podge of a kitchen. Thankfully, the price is low enough to account for all of these shortcomings, though the property is listed "As-Is," with no condition guarantees. That price? Just under $90K.
? While Baltimore provided the most affordable van der Rohe on the market today, Chicago is the undisputed king when it comes to securing the modern masters work on the cheap. This sixth-floor apartment at 880 N Lake Drive costs a mere $185K, but includes 785 square feet, one bedroom, one bathroom, views of the John Hancock tower, and, best of all, a nearly perfectly preserved original kitchen—though a wall may have been removed to open it to the rest of the living space. The vintage appliances at least appear to be in good condition, as does the rest of the apartment. At $935 per month, it may be the units common charges that are holding back a sale.
? In the same building, down on the third floor in the D line, this slightly smaller one-bedroom flat boasts views of Lake Michigan, but no original appliances. Listed for $186K, the marble-floored pad has two exposures, vintage baby blue bathroom tiles, and a desirable corner location. Again though, the heavy maintenance may take its toll, though that assessment "includes RE taxes, building mortgage, all utilities and cable" and the "seller will pay 6 months of building mortgage portion for buyer."
? The story is similar next door, in the third floor E-line apartment, which is currently on the market for $179K. The kitchen is wholly uninspiring, the unit measures 740 square feet, and it includes just one bedroom and one bath, but it also has dual exposures and views to the lake. This unit has been on the market for nearly 300 days without a sale, but now that the neighboring unit has come up for sale, perhaps the possibility of a relatively inexpensive combination will help to sell them both.
? Further south along the Lake, at 5532 South Shore Drive, is the building known as The Promontory Apartments. Completed in 1949, it was Mies van der Rohe's first foray into high-rise apartment buildings. Now, nearly 65 years later, the lakefront building now has some of the architect's most affordable creations. This 1,150-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment is much larger than its North Lake Drive counterparts, but costs less, at $135K. Frankly, the views are better too, discounting the photos shot through screened windows.