This Old Journal: Part one - Renovating an Oak Park office

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By Graham Johnston

Welcome to the first in a continuing series we're affectionately calling "This Old Journal." Over the next few weeks we're going to take you behind-the-scenes of the Wednesday Journal offices as we take on an ambitious renovation project.

For over 30 years our offices have been located in the heart of Oak Park at 141 S. Oak Park Ave. When we first arrived in this building we were one of several tenants - including a dance studio and a publication dedicated to vegetarians.

As our company grew we slowly expanded to take up more and more and now, we've been the only tenant on the second floor since 1990.

We're no strangers to ongoing renovation and construction at our office. Most recently you might have noticed that our office's main door moved slightly down the street.

To gain access to the second floor we had our mason come in and cut through a 15-inch thick brick wall to install a new doorway.

In 2010 we had the entire facade of our building rebuilt, complete with new windows and doors.

We exposed the original brickwork of the building and some of the beautiful terracotta details dating back to 1923.

Our current project won't be quite as a loud or dusty, but it's no less challenging. We're going to transform an empty office space into a new community room with an area for staff to relax, seating for up to 30 people taking part in one of our community organizations and even room for an occasional photo shoot.

And as you probably guessed, our budget for the entire project, is next to nothing. So follow along as we partner with local businesses and find inventive ways to reuse materials to create this new space.

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WJ fan from Oak Park  

Posted: October 1st, 2014 8:06 PM

Great idea to share this with the community - I look forward to seeing the progress on this project.

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