March 3, 2021
When the stars come together to work with you, you follow the stars. When they work not so much in your favor….same thing. I am not going to say that the stars are working in my favor, or against, but they are there, and I feel compelled to follow them.
As a working artists and small business owner working during and in the throws of a pandemic, and especially a working artists and business owner that finds comfort in perpetual motion, I knew that I was needing a project that offered some calculable and obvious results. While spending day after day seeking out opportunities for my business and the many amazing people that work with me, one hopes to have some things progress. Move forward. Show results.
That’s what lead me to imagine that the equity that my 2 flat has been gaining with the combination of my hard work on the building and grounds coupled with an inexplicably booming housing market might just find me in a position to…say…build a new garage.
Admittedly, this was after having spent 2 autumns reinforcing the lower edges of my slowly decaying pressboard sided garage and STILL finding a salt petrified rat in my winter salt bin.
One Covid afternoon I was having coffee with Cousin G (link to Cousin’s post), she mentioned that she had heard that coach houses were going to be permissible again- WHAT? Are you serious? I had lived in a coach house in the 90s
After doing some research and asking around, I realized that my neighborhood, more specifically, my block, was eligible for the City of Chicago’s new pilot ADU program , and that was a game changer! Commence research, hours of imagining the results while parked at my kitchen table, and long nights of sketching and dreaming.
At first it was very much me just imagining, as in I was just going at it, with little to no idea of what was possible, short of my modest experience with building and project management that included quite a few hours behind various saws in various shops owned by me and others, and my very basic knowledge of egress needs for general spaces. Plus I had the little bit of info I could find about the proposed, but not finalized ordinances on the internets. I needed a more knowledgable, experienced, trusted and ambitious mind to work with, and I knew exactly who to call, and it wasn’t ghostbusters (80s movie reference for scale).
My pal Gimi Ramos, one of my very favorite dance partners checked all of the boxes. I called him up, and he answered in his usual and welcomed “hey Honey”. It had been over a year since I had seen him, spoken with him or danced with him. What a a splash of cool water to my hot cheeks his cheerful voice was. He was in.
In addition to the peace that came from knowing that I wouldn’t have to explain ‘Me’ to him, since we had known each other for well over 20 years, I have never met a more amenable, kind, giving, respectful, motivated and inspired individual with the humble nature of Atticus Finch.
I knew that we would be a very dynamic duo, and I was pretty confident that he would tolerate me, and more so than even that, he would respect me, warts and all.
And so it began.
#chicagocoachhouse #dreamer #workingartist #coachhouse #ChicagoADU