(#WowDistrict write-up in the Trib)

606 Trail Wow District |
Chicago Tribune’s “Developers riding 606 trail deeper into Northwest Side”

This Sunday’s Chicago Tribune had a huge feature on the 606 Trail and the effects it is having on the neighborhoods it will be running through.  For those of you not familiar with the “606“, this is a city project much like the famed High Line in New York City’s meatpacking district.  Chicago will be repurposing a former elevated train track stretching for 3 miles between Ridgeway and Ashland Avenue, along Bloomington Avenue and transforming it into an elevated park with walking/jogging paths, lush greenery, and access points throughout the route.  It will be called the 606 because all of Chicago’s zip codes begin with those three numbers.

Why do we care?  Well, our new house will be just five houses down from the 606 and extremely close to the access point at Western Avenue.  This was a major selling point to us because it was a powerful indicator of the change and growth it would bring to the Wow (West of Western) District neighborhoodand it will be very pretty and fun to use.  The neighborhood was once owner of a stigma that advised pedestrians not to travel “west of western” for safety reasons (often unfound), but this jolt in development will be encouraging Chicagoans to now travel much further west of Western and will surely bring new business and a stimulated economy to the area.

The project was originally scheduled to be completed this Fall, but due to last winter’s Polar Vortex and the inability for any of the plantings to take root, it is looking to next Spring for its completion date – ie it will be ready upon our arrival!

To learn more about the 606 and follow its construction status, check out the 606 Facebook page.

606 trail chicago wow district | www.theartesianproject.wordpress.com
The 606 | from the 606 Facebook page

(the girl who cried house)

Missed connections
Missed connections

After getting the world’s cutest wedding gift from my new groom, it became apparent very quickly that we were going to need more space.  Our two bedroom condo in Lakeview – although wonderful – was not going to cut it for the Wagner fam anymore, because True Life: I am a Crazy Dog Mom (look no further than my instafeed for proof…)- and what my princess Nellie wants, princess Nellie gets.  So began our hunt for a house with a yard that turned into our version of Homer’s Odyssey (Matt says I have a flair for the dramatic).

We tried to convince ourselves that we were only shopping around for a deal, you know, casually looking, but after few months we were already under contract for an adorable 1898 arts & crafts home in the Graceland West neighborhood of Chicago.  A three bedroom home with tons of charm, an updated kitchen, and a HUGE yard for the Nell.  We could not believe our offer was accepted and we started making arrangements to move and put our place on the market.  The house passed the inspection with flying colors and we started moving our “excess” stuff into storage to magically make the condo look bigger.  Two days before we hit the market, we got punched in the gut.  The listing agent had been shopping that adorable house around while we were under contract (not legal) and got a higher offer.  It got ugly and tears were shed, but by the end, we didn’t want that house because of all the bad blood that was shed – oh and the listing agent would be our new neighbor.  No thanks.

So continued our “casual” search.  After losing the first house, we really wanted to move and were determined to find an even better spot (we compromised on our ideal location anyways, right?  that upstairs was never going to workit’s totally for the best).  So a million house offers later – ok, 10 – we were still in our condo with not enough yard for the princess.  We found ourselves competing against developers who seemed to just be floating on cash and we couldn’t get a W.  Even bribing the sellers with freshly baked cookies didn’t work.  So ten months later, when we stumbled upon the opportunity to build a new construction house in the area between two of our favorite neighborhoods, we knew we had to jump on it.

So here we are.  Our plans are currently with the city of Chicago for permits and within a few weeks we will be breaking ground on our new digs, so it is safe to say that I am no longer the girl who cried house.  Friends are always asking me for help in designing their spaces, so after some encouragement, I thought it only appropriate to start this blog to document the process.  So, huzzah!  Let’s do this thang.