Kenwood Residence


The Kenwood Project consisted of a 2,500 square foot, framed, single family home built in 1888 and located in Chicago’s historic Hyde Park neighborhood. This was Integro’s very first project and our intent was to remodel the home for immediate resale. Similar to many homes in Hyde Park, this building was originally designed with strong Victorian characteristics including large, symmetrical windows providing natural light, decorated mouldings, custom millwork, a steep servants’ staircase located near the kitchen, and smaller rooms which allowed its inhabitants to meander through the floors rather than simply walking from the front to the back of the building. The Hyde Park neighborhood takes pride in its historic originality and we were challenged to balance renovation vs. restoration—respecting historic ambiance while bringing this home into the 21st century.


Prior​ ​to​ ​this​ ​project,​ ​the​ ​owners​ ​of​ ​this​ ​building​ ​were​ ​the​ ​sole​ ​occupants​ ​of​ ​the​ ​house—their family​ ​had​ ​built​ ​it​ ​in​ ​1888.​ ​As​ ​native​ ​residents​ ​and in​ ​authentic ​Hyde​ ​Park​ ​fashion​, they​ ​were​ ​avid gardeners.​ ​Now​ ​leaving​ ​their​ ​family​ ​home​ ​to​ ​investors​ ​intending to remodel,​ ​they​ ​approached​ ​us regarding​ ​irises​ ​planted​ ​in​ ​the​ ​backyard.​ ​These​ ​irises​ ​were​ ​originally​ ​planted​ ​by​ ​the​ ​owner’s grandfather​ ​in​ ​the​ ​19th​ ​century​ ​and​ ​had​ ​been​ ​maintained​ ​for​ ​over​ ​a​ ​century.​ ​Knowing​ ​that​ ​one​ ​of the​ ​first​ ​casualties​ ​of​ ​construction​ ​is​ ​the​ ​exterior​ ​landscape,​ ​we​ ​worked​ ​with​ ​the​ ​next door neighbors​ ​to remove​ ​the​ ​irises​ ​and​ ​re-plant​ ​them​ ​in​ ​the​ ​neighbors’​ ​yard​ ​prior​ ​to​ ​the​ ​start​ ​of​ ​demolition.​ ​We also​ ​worked​ ​with​ ​the​ ​neighbors​ ​to​ ​treat​ ​a​ ​large​ ​ash​ ​tree​ ​spanning​ ​both​ ​properties​ ​and​ ​designed our​ ​exterior​ construction​ ​to​ ​preserve​ ​a​ ​stunning, century-old cherry​ ​blossom​ ​tree.


One of the primary challenges of this project was updating the configuration of the 1st floor layout while still showcasing the historic quality of the home. The Victorian floorplan was dated and couldn’t accommodate contemporary patterns of use. Successfully creating an open concept design and accommodate professional-grade appliances for a luxury kitchen was vital to our success. The servants’ staircase provided a complexity to the design as it is not a common amenity in modern homes. “Fighting for square footage”, our architect tirelessly drafted multiple options and relied on our team to determine its feasibility in the field.

Eventually, we resolved to “think outside the box” of the existing building and consider the rear enclosed porch as usable interior space. We reinforced the exterior of the porch and its structural integrity, then finished the interior to invisibly connect to the existing building. This addition allowed us the space and shape we needed to incorporate a staircase without impeding the original dining room, build out a rear mudroom, accommodate a breakfast area in the rear of the kitchen, and create a 3rd bedroom on the 2nd floor.


The basement was excavated to raise the ceiling height and added approximately 1,000 square feet of additional living space. We underpinned the existing foundations to maintain structural integrity and installed drain tiles to ensure proper water drainage.


Ultimately, this building included a formal living room, luxury kitchen, four bedrooms, a master ensuite with vaulted ceilings, two additional bathrooms, a loft space including an ensuite bathroom featuring a traditional clawfoot tub, and two separate full-sized laundry areas.


The entire residence featured premium finishes and custom millwork. Additionally, a rear deck was built at the rear exterior of the house. The front porch was restored to its original glory.


Our final product ​achieved​ ​its​ ​goal​ ​of​ ​providing​ ​a​ ​luxury​ ​residence​ ​with​ ​modern​ ​amenities while​ ​respecting​ ​the​ ​historical​ ​integrity​ ​of​ ​the​ ​​building. We started with an outdated Victorian building boasting a rich history and we finished this project with a historic home updated to accommodate its next generation of use.

Project Photos

Hyde Park Neighborhood, IL