Welcome to spring in Chicago! A world-class city, many tourists and natives alike love Chicago for its international foodie cuisine, its shopping, its museums, its parks, its theatres – and, of course, its architecture. There are a few distinct buildings that define residential architecture in Chicago: the multi-story limestone, the 2-story red brick two-flat, the bungalow…and the firehouse.
That’s right folks, for those of you that read this from around the world (thank you!), the Chicago firehouse is an icon. These buildings are scattered throughout our neighborhoods and, for the most part, each have been designed uniquely to accommodate their surroundings. While their functionality as actual firehouses has dissipated, their use as Landmark buildings has been recognized and appreciated by the City and residents alike.
This brings us to Integro’s next project – the Firehouse Project!
Built in 1899 as Engine Company 86, this is the oldest surviving framed firehouse in Chicago!
This is unique because, for the most part, firehouses in Chicago were demolished in the 1930s and replaced with brick buildings. Our building, however, remained. Instead, it was decommissioned in 1932 and later converted into a residence.
It is likely that this building was originally designed by a renown architect such as Alfred Alschuler, Argyle E. Robinson, William Carbys Zimmerman, or Paul Gerhardt Jr. We also know that, where our 2-car garage now stands, there used to be a stable for horse-drawn equipment…I can’t really say I’m happy to see that there are cars there instead of horses now.
This project consists of the restoration of the 2nd floor including hardwood flooring, the addition of 2 bedrooms, upgrade of an existing Guest Bathroom, and the addition of a luxury Master Suite. Also, to reinvigorate this space and respect its original roots, we are installing a steel spiral staircase.
Now, on to the most important part! Since it is a Landmark building, we get a plaque! What else could a girl ask for??? (I mean, besides 3 dragons and an awesome wardrobe)
Before we move on to “Before” photos, I must warn you that we had quite a surprise on our first day – the building was previously rented and the tenants had “moved out” the weekend prior to Demo Day. Unfortunately, the term “move out” was apparently ambiguous because we were welcomed to the neighborhood by the Chicago officials asking what we were planning to do with our garbage:
SO. MUCH. FUN.
Let me tell you, there’s nothing like making an emergency call to your crews on the first day of a new project.
After some calm and reasonable discussions, the kind City officials gave us until 3pm to “clean this [mess] up.”
So, here’s our FIRST REVEAL!
On to the fun part, without further ado, here are the Before photos (sorry for the mess, I had the photographer scheduled for Day 1):
Want to see more projects? Check us out at Integro Rehab!
Photography by The 606 Studio