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Would You Live In A CPS School? Mulligan Project Pre-Leasing This Fall

By Mina Bloom | September 6, 2016 5:29am
 The former James Mulligan School, 1855 N. Sheffield Ave., is being converted into apartments.
Mulligan School
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LINCOLN PARK — One of Lincoln Park's most anticipated redevelopment projects — converting the 116-year-old former James Mulligan School into apartments — is moving along. And if all goes according to plan, preleasing will begin this October, according to the city's Department of Planning and Development. 

The project includes restoring the exterior and interior of the historic building, 1855 N. Sheffield Ave., which gained landmark status in 2014, and converting the school's 24 original classrooms into 24 market-rate apartments.

Most of the classrooms — 27 feet by 34 feet with 14-foot-high ceilings and enormous windows — are being converted into two-bedroom units, but there will be a few three-bedroom units, according to the developer behind the project, Nick Vittore with Buffalo Grove-based Svigos LLC.

The school gym is being converted into a 2,200-square-foot apartment with a foyer and loft, according to the city's blog post.

Built-in furniture from the science lab and the principal's office will be reused in the design. The building's rooftop deck will offer stunning skyline views, according to photos shared with the city.

It's unclear how much the apartments will cost. Vittore wasn't available for comment despite repeated requests.

For the last few years, crews have been painstakingly restoring the building's architectural details.

The project hit a snag when a fire erupted at the school in 2014, which Vittore had called his "biggest fear." At the time, Vittore said he was hoping to finish the project in 1½-2 years.

Svigos bought the building in June 2013 for $4 million.

The school accommodated 918 students on its first day in September 1890. It closed in 1991, and reopened as Arts of Living Alternative School before closing for good in 2003.

It's not the only school-reuse project for Svigos. The developer is also "overseeing" projects at Motley and Peabody schools, and seeking landmark status for Lyman Trumbull Elementary School, according to the city's blog post.

"Mulligan, which last served students nearly 15 years ago, stood vacant much longer than the schools shuttered in 2013. But it serves as a model for how these schools can be artfully restored," the city's post reads.

Check out photos below:

The exterior of the shuttered school. [DNAinfo/Mina Bloom]

The lobby on the first floor. [Chicago Department of Planning and Development]

One of the 24 market-rate apartments, featuring enormous windows. [Chicago Department of Planning and Development]

The gym will become a 2,200-square-foot suite. [Chicago Department of Planning and Development]

The rooftop deck offers stunning skyline views. [Chicago Department of Planning and Development]

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