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City Slaps 'Stop Work' Order on HGTV Star's Bucktown Remodeling Project

By Alisa Hauser | October 3, 2016 9:52am
 A rehab project at 1803 W. Wabansia Ave. turned into an unauthorized demolition. The city issued a "stop work" order at the site.
1803 W. Wabansia Ave. in Bucktown/Wicker Park
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BUCKTOWN — The remodeling of a vintage Bucktown cottage co-owned by HGTV's "Kitchen Crashers" star Alison Victoria has been slapped with a city-ordered "stop work" notice after it turned into a full-on demolition.

A bright orange citation marks the now-razed home at 1803 W. Wabansia Ave., which is surrounded by construction fencing. The city notice threatens that any further work on the home "shall be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," and the owner faces up to $5,000 in fines for each offense.

"Work contrary to permit," says the stop work order signed in late September by city building inspector William Davis Jr.

Early Monday, Davis said he has met with the homeowner and architect about the matter. 

"They both know what procedures are needed at this point. Please contact them for any further information, as I do not want to reveal anything that may [be] of a sensitive or harmful matter," Davis wrote in an email.

Victoria, host of "Kitchen Crashers," uses her middle name as her last name. She announced the new project on Instagram in June using hashtags "renovation" and "restoration."

Victoria did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  After the demolition, she posted a photo of herself and her partner in the project standing on a pile of bricks.

"Demo didn't go as planned, but it definitely made for a sick photo shoot #WindyCityRehab #Chicago," she commented.

The home was bought for $535,000 on June 21 by "Windy City Reno LLC," a venture headed up by T. Donovan Eckhardt , owner of Greymark Development Group, and Alison Victoria Gramenos, county and state records show.

In July, a city permit was issued to "deconvert existing 2 flat to a single-family residence and erect a new two-story bay window and second floor addition per plans,"  records show.

Davis cited violations of two city municipal codes in the stop work order: failure to acquire a permit for a demolition and doing work not in conformity with the terms of permit. 

On Monday, Eckhardt said the demolition was not planned.

"Once starting demolition, the mortar and masonry in certain areas crumbled. All brick has been salvaged, and interior lumber donated to a local furniture maker that will make custom furniture for the new home," Eckhardt said.

Original design plans drawn for the vintage cottage, as well as the now-revised plans for the home that will replace it, were not available.

He added, "The permit plans have been updated to show the extra amount of demolition needed, and we hope to have a revised permit soon."


Our new #Bucktown baby! @donobro #Chicago #Reimagined #renovation #restoration #alisonvictoriainteriors #greymarkconstruction

A photo posted by alisonvictoria (@thealisonvictoria) on


Demo didn't go as planned, but it definitely made for a sick photo shoot #WindyCityRehab #Chicago

A photo posted by alisonvictoria (@thealisonvictoria) on