Another old church getting the apartment treatment

Yet another old church on the city’s north side may soon become new residences. According to DNAinfo, developer SNS Realty Group has a contract to purchase St. Paul’s cathedral at 2215 W. North Avenue in Wicker Park and is seeking a zoning change to build out 24 new rental units in the existing structure. According to DNAinfo, the property’s existing zoning would allow a maximum of eight residences.

The developer, which has recently worked on projects in Logan Square and Uptown, has been meeting with community groups to provide detailed information about the plan and to solicit feedback. However, DNAinfo reports that members of the community group Wicker Park Committee have suggested that the plan calls for too many units.

Like many prominent churches in the surrounding communities, St. Paul’s has an important legacy and appears on the Chicago Historic Resources Survey for being architecturally significant. Designed by the architect G. Isaacson in 1890, the study church features a muscular Romanesque appearance and steeples that stagger in height. According to archived construction news clippings, the estimated cost to build the church was $30,000 in 1890.

If the plan for rental units moves forward, St. Paul’s will join the nearby St. Boniface and many otherformer places of worship to find new life as residences.

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Classic and beautiful 3 Bedroom, 2 full bath, gut rehab Georgian. This home has been completely redone with attention to detail throughout. Granite kitchen leads to dining area with glass sliding doors to over-sized custom deck, perfect for entertaining and outdoor dining. All new hardwood floors throughout, new vinyl crank and slider windows, huge closets and storage throughout. Updated bathrooms, one upper and one lower. Designer lighting & window treatments throughout. Tear off roof 3 years ago, new furnace and central air, extra large new front loading washer and dryer. Intricate and detailed guaranteed-to-always-work Flood Control System. Beautiful basement that is always dry. Gorgeous yard with boxed planter. Oversized 2.5 garage opens on two sides great for functionality. Meticulously maintained home. In district for Canty Elementary School, 1+ CPS School. Close to redesigned Golf Course, Shopping, Major Expressways, and public transportation. Very nice block.

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How to request new trees for your block’s parkway

It’s peak summertime and the city has fully bloomed for the year. Lawns are blanketed with lush green grass and the trees lining the city’s parkways are thick and leafy. However, the hustle and bustle of the city and the area’s extreme weather takes a toll on the trees in the public way. You name it and it’s likely happened—parkway trees take their fair share of abuse in Chicago. Once the tree that was hit by a car or ravaged by the emerald ash borer has been removed, often times all that’s left is an unsightly stump.

While Chicago property owners are tasked with maintaining the parkway in front of their homes, the city will plant new trees along public way free of charge. The arrangement works out well for everyone—trees help abate flooding, provide shade and clean air, meanwhile property owners get a boost in curb appeal. Plus, the trees are happy being outside getting plenty of sunlight and carbon monoxide.

Just like anything in Chicago, there’s a process to request a new tree for your parkway. There’s an online form where property owners can enter their address and other necessary information. Like many other online services, the city’s 311 page is a little clunky. The connection is not secure and doesn’t work well with some browsers—Google Chrome won’t even load the page. But there’s also the old fashioned phone line there for you also. You can request a new tree and provide your address by calling 311.

But that’s not all! The city has also published a comprehensive list of trees that fare well in Chicago’s climate. Not all trees that thrive on private property do well in the public way, but a lot of them do. The list features nearly 200 species and lists their availability and hardiness in a midwestern urban environment.

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5 Ways Heat and Humidity Can Damage Your Home

Damage from heat and humidity can be a scary thing. Unlike a storm, the damage can be done slowly over long periods of time, and you won’t know about it until it’s too late.

It’s one of those things where you can’t see it,” Les Thorpe, owner of Thorpe Construction and Management Company in Virginia Beach, Va., told weather.com. “Because you can’t walk around the inside or the outside [and notice anything] until it’s too late. All of a sudden you see mold build up on your walls.”

Not only can heat and humidity challenge the integrity of your home’s structure, but it’s outcome (think mold and mildew) can lead to health issues and possibly even termites. ” It may take a while for that to happen,” Thorpe said. “It’s a slow process, but once it starts, it’s a hard thing to really stop.”

Crawl Space

For Thorpe, the number one space susceptible to damage from heat and humidity, look under the house at the crawl space. “There is stagnant air that seems to be trapped and doesn’t move [in the crwal space],” Thorpe said. “The humidity builds up and it starts to create issues with mold, mildew, and things of that nature.”

The newest, and most foolproof, way to protect your crawl space from humidity damge is by encapsulating it. Encapsulation goes beyond insulation and foundation vents — it is a complete covering of the foundation and ground beneath it.

“[Encapsulation uses] either a spray foam or rigid installation. Then there is a heavy plastic that gets laid down on the ground to prevent moisture from coming up from the ground. And this plastic goes up the foundation walls,” Thorpe said. “It really blocks any kind of moisture that typically would transfer from the outside to the inside.It allows a better controlled environment under the house”

Attic

After the protecting the bottom of your house from heat and humidity, it’s time to look up — all the way up. Accordin to Thorpe, many homes are not built with adequate airflow in the attic, which is troublesome in what is already one of the hottest areas in the home.

“Humidity starts to build up inside and the first thing that’s going to take a hit is probably the insulation,” he said. “Once we start breaking down the insulation, it starts to break down and it’s not really doing it’s job anymore.”

There are a few preventative measures you can take to improve how your attic handles heat and humidity. First, Thorpe recomments properly ventilating the eaves of the roof. He also suggests implementing a continuous vent system throughout the attic. The construction expert also suggests dehumidifiers to pull moisture out of the air in the attic.

But one thing he isn’t so supportive of? The attic fan. While he admits that they can do a good job at removing heat and humidity in warmer months, in cooler months they can be more of a burden. “When they’re not in use, there’s a hole in your roof and it lets cold air in,” he said. “They tend to let critters come in, they chew through the screen and get in your attic that way. The motor can burn up… It’s still a good product in some cases, but putting the vents in your roof and having the correct type of venting, is key.”

Bathrooms

Bathrooms can pose a year-round heat and humidity threat with frequent hot showers and baths. “Mositure and humidity builds from the inside because of showers,” Thorpe said. “And you also have the transfer of heat and humidity built up in the attic.”

To combat this, make sure bathrooms with a shower or bath are vented outside the house and that the vent isn’t bringing outside air into the home. This kind of duct work can be faulty if not properly installed.

Windows and Door

Poorly sealed windows and doors can cause unseen damage from humidity between the interior and exterior of the home. “We’ll see that around windows and doors mainly because [poor] sealing around windows and doors can lead to moisture coming in,” Thorpe said.

“If there’s isn’t proper drainage between [the interior and exterior of the home], they have the tendency to trap water. It can’t go down the wall, so it gets trapped,” he said. “Moisture starts to build up and you get the temperature from the inside of the house trying to go outside the house and the outside coming in. It gets trapped and stuck between the walls.”

Plumbing

Just like windows and doors, plumbing can lead to damage from heat and humidity if not sealed properly.

“Where plumbing is, wherever plumbing may exit the house, a lot of times the application of a sealant around the pipes might not have been done well or over the years people are not looking around their house and making sure the caulking or foam applied is inadequate,” Thorpe said. “People tend to forget about that. There’s another transfer of outside air going inside and vice versa.”

By just taking the time to have a plumber evaluate the caulking, or touching it up yourself over the years, can prevent damage.