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Chicago Filmmakers Officially Buy Ridge Firehouse, Renovations Begin This Month

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Photo: Chicago Filmmakers Facebook

It has been over two years since the Chicago Filmmakers submission for the repurposing of the old firehouse at 5700 N. Ridge Ave. was chosen by the City of Chicago. In that time, it has been a whirlwind of fundraising by the organization.

Last Friday the group made the purchase of the building official by closing on the property which they bought from the City for $36,000. The 5,892-sq. ft. Chicago Historic Landmark building built in 1928 will finally be getting the much needed attention it has been lacking. Renovations are set to start this month and could come as early as next week.

Alderman Harry Osterman who was determined to turn the firehouse into a place for the benefit of the local communtiy said in a statement,On behalf of our entire Edgewater community, I’m very excited that Chicago Filmmakers will breathe new life into the firehouse. We look forward to many years of community partnership.”

The renovation should take seven to eight months. It will include the construction of a new movie theater, elevator, exit stairs, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, sewer and water lines. The Filmmakers are woking with award-winning architectural firm Bureau of Architecture and Design and Finnegan Development. The total cost of the project is around $1 million.

The Chicago Filmmakers has already raised about $300,000 towards the cost of the renovations. They have also secured a challenge grant that will match that amount dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000.

The group plans to raise the rest of the $1 million needed over the next year with hopes of moving into their new space by year’s end. They are planning a crowdfunding campaign this Spring.

In a Windy City Times article, Chicago Filmmakers’ Executive Director Brenda Webb said, “We have a lot of work to do in the new space, and a lot of money to raise.” She added, “but this organization and the people who support it definitely have the passion and determination to help us reach our goal.”


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