Chicago Firehouse

  • Location(s): Chicago, IL
  • Size: 15,000 SF

The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant is housed in a 15,000 SF two-story building former fire station with seating for 380 patrons. It is a Chicago Landmark Structure. Aria completed the original build of the restaurant in 2002. Tragically, a roof fire struck the building in December of 2014.

During the post-fire restoration, the challenge was to highlight the building materials from 1905. Part of the original tin ceiling was destroyed so we replicated those pieces based on the 12 piece prototype design. Soot residue oozed from the grout between each Tiffany glazed brick tile. The restoration required repetitive cleaning of each section but created a historical feel.

Guided by the principles of historical relevancy, we sought to restore the building to its original architectural glory. Floor to ceiling arched bay doors, framed in yellow brick and limestone fa├žade, originally accommodated the entrance and exit of horse-drawn fire engines. Now they open onto Michigan Avenue, inviting passersby to experience the open dining areas with a curved bar as the main focal feature.

This classic American steakhouse, brimming with authenticity, has masculine undertones of strength and timeless character.