To give you a sense of the current building, here’s a more detailed walkthrough of the first floor:
Current first floor apartment
- Entryway – You enter the building from the main entrance door into a vestibule that serves as the current entryway to the two separate apartments (one on the first floor, one on the second floor). The entryway doors to the apartments are pretty sweet – we’ll look for some way to incorporate them back into the house. Otherwise there’s not much of note here. There’s some cheap vinyl on the floor – after about my third visit to the house I noticed something peeking out from a chipped corner in the vinyl… stay tuned! #foreshadowing
- Foyer – Choosing doorway number 1 (left side) brings you to the foyer of the first floor apartment. It’s pretty dark and closed off right now, with a mirror that I can’t tell is awesome or meh. We’ll save it in case. The wallpaper is decidedly not awesome (and peeling).
- Living Room – At the end of the foyer is a crossroads to three rooms of the house. On the left is the large living room that looks out onto the front porch and street beyond. We kept thinking these were bay windows but turns out they are just a good imitation. The light that comes through is really great, although at present covered with very heavy curtains. The room itself is a good size and they are original hardwoods hiding underneath the dingy carpet.
- Bedroom 1 – The front bedroom has two doors – one from the foyer, one going to the rear hallway – so it serves as an odd sort of pass through since there is no hallway on this side of the house. This room also houses the the real reason we bought this house – there is an original wall safe from the 1800s . Luckily the owners still had the combination so it is still operable. It’s definitely a keeper, though we may relocate it. You know, in order to house all our JEWELS.
- Dining room – The formal dining also serves as a pass-through room from the front to the back. It’s pretty standard except that it has an original built-in cabinet. Perhaps it’s not technically “built-in” in that it’s in the wall. It looks more like a hutch that is attached to the wall. Either way, we’ll try and reuse it currently has some damage/trim missing.
- Bathroom – From the back hallway there is the full bathroom that serves the whole apartment. Nothing special here; looks like it might have been renovated in the 80s/90s. Buh bye bathroom!
- Bedroom 2 – The second bedroom is the only room on this floor with the original wood floors exposed, as well as thick, unpainted wood trim. This style of trim is very typical to old Chicago homes – it’s always nice to see it in its original form as opposed to covered in layers of paint. In a perfect world I would keep the trim that way for the next 100 years but alas ’tis a cruel world. We’ll chat about floors and trim another time when I have some wine on hand.
- Kitchen – The current kitchen is gorgeous – drop ceilings, wood paneling, linoleum paneling, dated cabinets, faux brick backsplash, and old white appliances. We’re not changing a thing! (Psych. Just making sure you didn’t zone out). Ain’t nothing here that’s staying peeps. There’s an original pantry that’s pretty large and has an old wooden door which we were told was originally for ice delivery. There’s also a single bulb hanging down from the ceiling which gives it a real “this is where I hide the bodies” vibe.
- Addition / breakfast nook – This small addition to the original building extends the kitchen. This is the area that’s wrapped in vinyl siding when you’re looking at the back of the house. This was added at some point and won’t meet code if we do any renovations on the house, so we’ll have to decide what to do with it. (Options: get rid of it or rebuild it.)
- Outside/Backyard – Leaving the kitchen you step onto the currently very unstable and pretty rotted back stairs. Luckily those are just coming down and do not need to be rebuilt since it will be a single family. The backyard is great and large, if not a bit overgrown by vegetation. Beyond the yard is the attached garage, which you would access by car from the alleyway behind. Again, typical set up in Chicago. Most people like to do a roof deck on top of their garage, but ours is the closest part of the property to the train so no one would want to be up there anyway.
And here are the pictures!