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Melrose Two Flat

Our new project, a 1900 Italianate style brick 2 flat is situated in the heart of Lakeview, off of the Southport Corridor. 


The building is currently composed of 3 separate rental units-an english garden, a first floor and a second floor. I've come to learn that the legality of the "english garden" is in question for the vast majority of old Chicago rental buildings, so we'll call Melrose a 2 Flat to keep things Kosher.


In its current condition, there's not many redeeming qualities about this building. Its previous owners purchased the property with the intention of converting it into their forever home, but the husband was transferred overseas for work and plans never materialized. Melrose was left managed by a rental company for over a decade where it saw very little love or true maintenance.


Still, the roof, windows, foundation and brick walls are in amazing condition relative to the age of the building and have stood the test of time. Since the interior will eventually be gut rehabbed, Chris and I joke that we purchased 4 brick walls and a roof, but they just don't build houses like they used to--which is why we are drawn to vintage homes. 

As old as it is, Melrose is a sturdy little house. 

The plan.

Over the course of the next year or so, we plan to convert floors 1 and 2 into our "single family" house. 

Even though we have already started drafting plans with an architect, renovations will begin in Fall of 2020, as we had to honor existing rental agreements when we purchases the building. 

Floor 1 ( where we are currently living) will consist of the front door entry/ vestibule, a front room parlor, dining room, powder room, eat in kitchen with walk in pantry. We plan to incorporate the back porch area into the actual square footage of the house which will leave us at about 1,300 sq ft on the first floor. 

The second floor, about 1500 sq ft, will consist of the master suite (walk in closet and bathroom), 2 additional guest bedrooms and a secondary full bath. 


Since its just Chris and I (+ 2 big poodles) we have opted to leave the garden as a rental unit for now to offset the cost of the renovations and (much bigger) mortgage until we actually need the 4th bedroom and extra space.

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