This original two-flat building was built in 1908 for F. Ross. The builder was Axel Ostrand, a prominent construction firm in Andersonville. This unique two-flat was on the downward spiral to demolition when it was purchased and restored by GreenSky Company, LLC (Thom Greene and Nadeen Kieren) in 2002. In 2003, GreenSky received the Chicago Association of Realtors’ Good Neighbor Award for the total renovation of this derelict building into three unique apartments.
From the street, this building stands out because of the cylindrical bay on the façade. This geometric form, the warm colored brick and the front porch re-creation, combine to show the best of historical architecture. Many of the original details, such as the front door of the building, had been destroyed by the time GreenSky purchased the building.
The front porch had been removed and replaced with a concrete stoop with metal railings and the roof was missing. The architects set to work - first as detectives, in order to replace what was missing or destroyed. At the top of the building is a copper cornice, a replacement for the original galvanized metal cornice, which had begun to disintegrate.
The front doors are crafted replacements of the originals, copied from the broken original. Inside the vestibule is an oak paneled in quarter-sawn oak. The checkerboard floor tile is new. The second floor unit begins on the first floor with a staircase to the second floor that has been opened out into the rooms above. In this stairway, green wallcovering covers wainscoting.
The second interior door at the top of the stairs has been removed and a large closet created using the door. The doors have six panels. The framing around the doors and windows is original, with a Greek Ionic design and crown moldings. The flooring quarter-sawn oak stained in a dark color. The ceilings have restored plaster coves with large oak picture railings. The original living room has been enlarged by the removal of a wall from the tiny front bedroom. All the woodwork has been hand stripped of layers of paint, including the original fireplace with pale green ceramic tile for the hearth and surround - it is a working gas fireplace. In the dining room is a restored built-in oak cabinet of high quality with glass doors above and brackets framing the counter space.
The family part of the unit is separated from the front living area and has a new oak floor. There are two bedrooms off the hallway and one enlarged bath. The kitchen has been totally redone with cherry cabinets and custom glass mosaic tiles. The new central skylight opens up the space flooding it with natural light. The kitchen space has been expanded into the back porch, which retains the exterior brick wall. A window looks out onto a new two-story deck. A French door opens onto the deck with a lovely view of the backyards of Andersonville.
The current resident of this building is a new face in the Andersonville art scene and you will see some of his paintings in the apartment. All of the unframed paintings in his apartment will be for sale.