I call our 2-flat a house, because to us it really is. It has a yard and a garage and basement and we are treating it like a keeper. I grew up in a 2-flat also and Chicago has tons of 2-flats, so maybe that's why it feels so comfortable to me.
I spent this morning with my Dad for Father's Day and thought I'd post a photo of his 2-flat. I think it is lovely. It's a grey stone Victorian and inside has all the original oak mouldings exposed, pocket doors, and 2 decorative fireplaces on both levels. An appreciation for architecture runs in my family.
My Dad lives on a very special street actually. All around him on surrounding blocks there have been massive teardowns- mostly of frame homes (but nice ones). They were torn down to put up condo buildings mostly with cinderblock on the sides.
For some reason his street escaped this blight-maybe because many of the buildings on the street (mostly 2-flats) were stone or brick and less likely to be torn down. Until...someone set their eyes on this beautiful building.
Before you get alarmed, this story has a happy ending.
When the neighbors on the street found out that this building was going to be torn down, they got together and along with the Alderman who appreciated the fact that this block was intact and filled with great architecture, put a cease and desist on the demoltion. The Alderman working with Preservation Chicago found a developer willing to trade properties with this one and renovate the building rather than tear it down!
It is now in the process of being renovated and this guy is doing a fabulous job. Note the curved windows for example. He also put in real stone steps. And, even better, the entire block now has landmark status so it is protected now. See, I told you my Dad lives on a special street!
It will only become more precious.
If you want to read about the story, it's on the Preservation Chicago website as one of their victories from 2003.
Dad and I went for a walk around his neighborhood and I captured this Louis Sullivan-esque, building.
Check out the close up:
...and speaking of Father's Day, Dad and I passed this poster at a construction site- I couldn't not post this. Priceless, wouldn't you say?
Happy Father's Day to the renovating Dad's out there!