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Look Inside: Logan's Rainbow House Owner Explains Why He Did This

By Mina Bloom | May 18, 2017 5:26am
 Eli Albert, 29, runs a colorful artist commune in Logan Square.
Eli Albert, 29, runs a colorful artist commune in Logan Square.
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DNAinfo/Mina Bloom

LOGAN SQUARE — If you live in Logan Square, there's a good chance you've seen the rainbow house.

Unlike any house in the neighborhood, it's completely covered in colorful, trippy designs — stripes, birds, shapes, planets, you name it.

Turns out, it's the work of 29-year-old Eli Albert and his artistic friends.

Albert bought the rundown property for $280,000 three years ago and eventually turned it into an artist commune so he and his friends can create art and host music shows and other events, while sharing a living space. They call it "Crumble House."

To accommodate his six roommates, Albert knocked down a bunch of walls and parts of the ceiling. Albert's attic bedroom, which is decked out with string lights and tapestries, is accessible via a rickety ladder that goes through a hole in the ceiling.

"It's a s---hole. That's a legal term," Albert said of the house with a laugh. "I wanted a s---hole because I wanted to be able to do this."

Albert, who works as a web developer by day, charges $300 plus utilities for the smallest rooms in the house, which is cheap rent for gentrifying Logan Square.

"I wish it was cheaper to live here," Albert said of Logan Square. "I sort of think of [the house] as running a charity in some ways."

As for the exterior, Albert said it took about 16 hours and a crew of 20 friends to complete. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the ostentatious paint job elicits a lot of comments from passersby — but so far, nothing negative, Albert said.

Albert said his immediate neighbors don't mind either, but when he asked if he could paint their houses in wild colors, they politely declined.

For privacy reasons, Albert asked DNAinfo Chicago not to publish the exact address of the house.

"What I want is for people to hear about events from their friends and come to them," he said.

"Sometimes I'll be on the porch and there will be some people [around], and if they aren't afraid of me, we'll talk and I'll invite them in to see it. I'm pretty open about it. But I don't want it to become a storefront. There's a fine line you have to walk between public and private when it's where you live."

Check out more photos of the house below
The inside of the home could be even more trippy than the outside. [All photos DNAinfo/Mina Bloom]

Eli Albert, 29, runs the artist commune.

(More photos can be found on Curbed)