1906-2010: Remodeling in Grant Park

posted by tucker

I’ve been busy in Grant Park it seems. Rick Jones, my good friend and architect, and I have been shooting a lot at the park itself, which is all work that will hopefully help push the Conservancy to fund further improvements around the park. However, Rick is also working on a project in the Grant Park neighborhood, nearby the park. The house was built in 1906, and a store added on in 1925. Rick acquired the house in 1996 and has been working on remodeling and restoring the place from the ground up… literally. The original basement was used for storage, and had a ceiling that was maybe 6′ tall. Over the past few years, Rick not only designed an entirely new basement and supervised its construction, but he did so using materials that really make the space a welcoming, warm place to be. By taking the original bricks from the exterior and recycling them for use in interior spaces, such as the basement, and using hand-hewn wooden beams for supports, the atmosphere is at once fresh and new, yet evokes much of the building’s past. The ceiling was raised to 9’3 to accommodate people comfortably, and a fireplace was added which only furthers the sense of homeliness in the place. As Rick said, he envisions a pub or some other restauraunt-type setting there, but it is ultimately up to the eventual buyer/renter as to what will fill the space. It’s just a place that you want to stay in, exploring the texture of the old bricks, the beautiful wood, and the nice touches such as the keystone over the fireplace. I can’t wait to see it fully finished, with real lights and actual windows, and two matching doors flanking the fireplace. Rick has come up with plans for the entire rest of the building, which has two stories on top of the basement, and his ideas and vision are going to transform the place into a truly incredible space. I hope to go back soon and get some “in progress” HDRs of the space under construction; it looks really cool with just the frame of the house up in places, all of it in different stages of construction. This is also some of the first (successful…) work I have done with HDR indoors. It’s kinda cool! For now, here is what the contractors have dubbed “The Wine Cellar.”

Wide shot of the "Wine Cellar" with the windows covered.

Tighter shot of the basement, with windows open.

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