Barbara's Hideaway: Casual Elegance in the Heart of Chicago
Apartment, Entire place - Chicago, United States
About the House
Ours is the first in a row of four town homes built in 1868, and is one of the few structures to survive the Great Chicago fire of 1871.
Built first as a single family residence, it was converted to a rooming house during the depression years.
In 1953, my father purchased the house for the business that occupied the rear of the property. What now is our beautiful patio and garden was once Mrs. Franks’ Red Hots, a drive-up dog and burger joint where I peeled potatoes for the french fries and sliced tomatoes and onions for the hot dogs. This was a time when our quiet alley was a bustling thoroughfare, Ogden Avenue, and many of the beautiful, more contemporary+ homes that surround us were commercial buildings.
As Ogden became de-commissioned as an Avenue and the neighborhood gentrified, I moved into the house with my Husband, Lee and my young son, Adam. My father Louie, a prominent Chicago night club owner, maintained the garden apartment for 30 years as his primary residence until his death in early 2006.
For the past five years, the family has been restoring and renovating the house, finally finishing work on Barbara’s Hideaway in March of 2007 with the installation of a new, fully equipped kitchen. Louie’s baby grand piano still occupies the bay windows in front, there is a washer and dryer, and high-speed internet access and direct TV. The garden patio is sunny and relaxing (a real treat in the warmer months) and the many shops and restaurants within walking distance make this a perfect, year-round accommodation in Chicago.
Thanks for visiting and we hope to see you soon!