Final Reveal: The Firehouse!

It has been a busy summer! We planted over 100 species of foliage in Oak Brook, we embarked on a 5,000 square home in the Frank Lloyd Wright-Prairie School of Architecture Historical District in Oak Park, and now we have put the finishing touches on a National Historic Landmark: the Firehouse.

Built in 1899 as Engine Company 86, this Landmark building is the oldest surviving framed firehouse in Chicago. Typically, firehouses in Chicago were demolished in the 1930s and replaced with brick buildings; therefore, this iconic structure is unique to Chicago. Instead of being demolished, it was decommissioned in 1932 and later converted into a residence.

It is likely that this building was originally designed by Alfred Alschuler, Argyle E. Robinson, William Carbys Zimmerman, or Paul Gerhardt Jr., renown architects of their time. These original designs accommodated period-specific details including a stable for horse-drawn equipment where our 2-car garage now stands.

Our scope for this project consisted 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. In addition, a custom steel spiral staircase was designed and installed to reinvigorate this space and acknowledge its originality. Career architects and passionate about the built environment, our clients have owned this property for 15 years. The goal of this project was to prepare this building for marketable resale – to bring this space to life while restoring its original character and charm.

The big excitement this summer was the anticipation of the custom spiral staircase – there’s nothing quite like having to rely on email and phone conversations to confirm measurements…coordination like this takes hours off the end of my life…

So, we take our measurements, we discuss, we discuss again, we discuss again, we take more measurements, we confuse each other, we discuss again, then we take more photos with measuring tape in them, then we discuss, then we approve.

We wait, we wait, we wait.




















Then, it arrives. Hooray! Yay for us! The final piece!

We bring in the troops.

Here are our carpenters on the first piece. In case you’re wondering, that face means “you’re crazy.”















Before long, it’s all coming together:


Up, up, up we go!


Until we get to the top to reap the glory of our construction.


…party foul!

Suddenly, all of those confusing discussions become clear and I am further validated that measuring across distances is bad for my health.

That’s okay, that’s okay…a cap piece and a 2-3/8″ return piece will solve all of our problems.

The End.

So, without further ado, here is what you have all been waiting for (right?)!


Living Room – BEFORE


Living Room – AFTER


Spiral Staircase – BEFORE


Spiral Staircase – AFTER


Master Bedroom – BEFORE


Master Bedroom – AFTER


Master Bedroom/Closet – AFTER


Master Bedroom/Closet – AFTER


Master Bathroom – BEFORE


Master Bathroom – AFTER


Master Bathroom – BEFORE


Master Bathroom – AFTER


Master Bathroom – AFTER


Main Hallway – BEFORE


Main Hallway – AFTER


Guest Bathroom – BEFORE

2nd Bath Firehouse 1

Guest Bathroom – BEFORE

2nd Bath Firehouse

Guest Bathroom – AFTER


Guest Bedrooms – BEFORE


Guest Bedrooms – AFTER


Main Staircase – BEFORE


Main Staircase – AFTER


…and there we have it, a new life for another old building.

Thanks to the 606 studio for bringing our project to life through photography.

Special thanks, of course, is credited to our clients – your beautiful aesthetic for this exceptional building created an inspiring transformation.

Want to see more projects? Check us out at Integro Rehab!

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