This conversion of a 1936 firehouse into a private residence conserves as many of the existing features as possible (hose-drying tower, tiled walls, communal bathroom, collective kitchen, original garage door) and adapts to the requirements of a modern family. While the owners wanted the building to retain its character as a Chicago Firehouse, the main space becoming their living/dining room, it was important to tailor to year round comfort with cutting-edge systems. Heated floor and air conditioning take advantage of the building volume and plan layout to create maximum well-being. The north side, colder, houses the “wet” rooms, and adds to the triple glazed windows another layer of sound barrier from the Brown line trains, which almost graze the building. The bedrooms and living spaces, at the warmer South end, benefit from a quieter and tighter contact with the side yard and street allowing this hospitable family to open its doors often to friends and neighbors. By adding a mudroom serving as back entrance on the Northwest side, we were able to keep the existing ground floor pretty much intact, only opening a large sliding bay to the side-yard and moving the main door from the South of the building into the existing hose-drying tower, adding drama to the entry sequence. This firehouse, which had been abandoned for almost 20 years, has again become a place of conviviality, its owners keen to not only conserve the look of the building, but also perpetuate its role in the community.
Facilities Planning & Construction Inc.