The Mulligan School Building designed by Charles Rudolph and built in 1890 has been adaptively reused as an apartment building by Svigos Development. Located at 1855 N. Sheffield Ave, this stately former school was ravaged by a fire in 2014. Despite the extra alarm fire and the thousands of gallons of water which turned the building into an “ice castle” according to the fire chief, the redevelopment has taken steps to retain and enhance the original features.
“Although some flooring couldn’t be salvaged, much of the original maple wood floors were taken away, dried out, treated and reinstalled. Indoor tuckpointing returned brick walls to top condition. The dark pine doorways and original wainscoting were retained. (Cox, 4/5/17)
“We were trying to stay as true to form as we could,” Nick Vittore of Svigos Development said. (Cox, 4/5/17)
“Other relics of the building’s former life dot the apartments and common spaces. They include coat hooks and paneling from student cloakrooms in some units’ entryways, tables made from tubes of the original radiators and old roof joists, and chalkboards in every apartment. The building’s main-floor hallway still resembles an elementary school corridor. Old safety grills that covered windows are now the railings for walkways on the rooftop deck. On the main floor, the hallway and doors are intact and preserve the look of a classic old-line elementary school, complete with water fountains.” (Rodkin, 6/1/17)
We saved everything we could, to keep the character of the building,” Vittore said. (Rodkin, 6/1/17)
Preservation Chicago applauds Nick Vittore and Svigos Development for their preservation-sensitive adaptive reuse of this landmark building, especially in light of the devastating fire.