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Brewery, apartments proposed for oldest firehouse building in Jefferson Park

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The project would restore historic details of the 112-year-old structure

A rendering of the renovated and expanded firehouse building.
45th Ward

A former Jefferson Park firehouse dating back to 1906 has been tapped for a $2.4 million conversion into a brewery and apartments. The brick structure at the southeast corner of Ainslie Street and Lipps Avenue is one of the city’s oldest surviving firehouse buildings.

Ambrosia Homes plans to purchase the Northwest Side property from the city and add two floors to the existing two-story structure, according to an email from 45th Ward Alderman John Arena. It was previously occupied by the sanitation department but has been vacant for the past five years.

The current two-story structure at the southeast corner of Ainslie Street and Lipps Avenue.
Google Streetview

Under the plan, the ground floor space would be converted into a second location for Lake Effect Brewing Company. The local craft brewery first opened in 2011 at 4727 W. Montrose Avenue—roughly a mile southeast of the old Jeff Park firehouse.

The conversion will include a tasting room and a new sidewalk patio space fronting Lipps Avenue, based on a rendering provided by Arena’s office. Nine two-bedroom apartment units would occupy floors two through four. The building’s historic character will be preserved and missing architectural details such as its triangular rooftop pediment will be reinstalled.

The Ambrosia Homes is requesting a zoning change (B3-2 to C1-3) from the city. Alderman Arena has scheduled a community meeting to discuss the plan on Thursday, March 8 at 6:30 at the Copernicus Center at 5612 W. Lawrence Avenue.