Mike Shively, principal of an eponymous architectural practice, is the owner of this three-story remodel in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. By lowering the second story ceiling and making room for a livable attic, Shively almost doubled the home's size from 800 to 1,400 square feet. The building now accommodates a single-family rental unit below his own. "I knew the rules, and what conventions I wanted to break before I found this building," says Shively, adding "By the time I found the perfect building, I already had the sketch mapped out and just had to apply it to the particular conditions." The home's converted attic level not only fits two bedrooms but features a suspended catwalk that bridges the two. Wherever possible, Shivley looked to preserve or match original 1880s details, such as porcelain bulbs and building trim. Thus, what appears to be a traditional Chicago apartment from street level, manages to set itself apart with abundant natural light and multiple custom details.
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