Location: Chicago, IL
Size: 2,250 SF
Wayne Ford and Jeanette Park searched old Chicago neighborhoods for their perfect first home. They found it in a classic 1880s Victorian brick in the Bucktown neighborhood. Though it had been rented for years as a two-flat apartment building, many of the building’s original features remained. The challenge was to restore the two-story’s dignity as a single-family home, while incorporating 21st century conveniences and preserving the building’s 19th century charm.
Programmatically, the house separates a social space on the first floor and reserves the second story for bedrooms. The first floor is open from the front porch to a new backyard deck, creating space for a modern kitchen complete with a 15-foot island for cooking and entertaining. Opening up the entire length of the house on the first floor required concealing structural elements within a ‘bar’ containing closets, a large pantry, kitchen cabinets and a powder room.
The design is a careful mix of modern and existing elements. The house retains existing wood windows, shutters and fireplace while mixing in modern finishes for the kitchen and bathrooms. Features original to the house are reused. Parlor doors from the first-floor entry have been retrofitted as sliding barn-style doors with a custom metal rail for the master bedroom. Original copper chandeliers have been rewired and hang over the long kitchen bar, the dining room and in the master bedroom. Tin ceiling tiles found downstairs now hang over the first-floor fireplace and as a backdrop in the second-story master bedroom.
Photos by Leslie Schwartz Photography