SCHOOL TO RESIDENTIAL: PEABODY SCHOOL APARTMENTS
The Elizabeth Peabody Public School was designed by the Chicago Board of Education architect W. August Fiedler and constructed in 1894. The 15-room, three-story building raised over a basement stands out for its intricate details utilizing stone, brick, terra cotta, and decorative metal in the Romanesque Revival / Classical Revival style and is a noteworthy example of Chicago’s public school architecture in the late 1800s.
Following the closure of several Chicago Public Schools in 2013, Peabody School was sold through a public auction with a redevelopment plan to transform the historic structure into 23 apartments with a rooftop deck. The renovation encompassed the preservation and repair of the building’s facade, cornice, interior trim, and built-ins, including the refurbishment of various school furniture, chalkboards, and cabinets. Apartments are enhanced with a multitude of recycled materials sourced from the school to retain the historic character of the original use. Infrastructure modernization included the complete replacement of the mechanical systems and components to ensure energy efficiency. Additionally, a new deck was added at the roof level to be used as an amenity space for the residents. The existing stairs were repaired and extended to reach the roof, and a new elevator was installed to provide access to all levels of the building.
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