kleiner garage

May 21, 2003



“turn on extreme homes right now! the house down the street is on!”

if you’re confused by the above quote, you obviously weren’t sitting here in my living room when my phone rang earlier. you see, there’s a house in my neighborhood, right down my block, that has the sweetest exterior i’ve ever seen. unfortunately, a copper and steel gate usually sits in the closed position, so i’ve rarely seen the actual house. we’ve all wondered who might live there: surely an architect, a designer, or just someone incredibly cool. well, thanks to extreme homes, i can finally get to the bottom of it.

Restaurant owner Jerry Kleiner has created an unexpected 7000-square-foot home in Chicago's industrial and residential west side. The former 1923 trucking garage still retains most of its exterior shape. The "grand hall" is 65 by 30 feet, nearly as large as a tennis court. The 33-foot ceilings and the 43-1/2-foot-long skylight make the large room seem even more grand. Inside, only the trusses give away the building's history. Some of the brick and roll-up doors have been replaced with windows, but the garage doors are new, designed to look like the originals. The welcome gate to the property is made of copper and old steel. A curvy stairway made of old pavers from Pennsylvania and mature trees in the front garden give the property a lived-in look.

the house is certainly amazing. what was even more fun, though, was seeing my street on tv! if you missed it tonight, hgtv is running the episode (EXT-9A08) again in a few hours: 12:30am on 5/22. :) short notice, but watch it if you can!

read the hgtv article here… if you’re interested in reading more, the check out this article on one of jerry kleiner’s restaurants, gioco. (it was originally run in the chicago sun-times on october 24, 1999.) oh, and thanks to kelly for her call…