Uptown Family Vision: Construction Progress Report


We made a trip out to Park Ridge yesterday to check in on the construction progress at Uptown Family Vision.  It still looks like a construction site, rather than a finished business, but actually it is very near completion now.  Check out our post on the design process here.  Today we’ll share some photos of the project at various points in construction.

Note: this project is now complete.  Check out final photos HERE!

First off, the before pic.  You have to know how beat up and banal the space looked before we got started in order to appreciate what we will accomplish, right?  We saw a lot of potential in the high ceilings (original pressed tin, worth saving) and got right down to work.

before space

Construction as Excavation

In addition to the ceiling, the building at 118 Main Street in Park Ridge, has some interesting bits of history hidden under its many layers of modernizing and updates.  While we weren’t able to preserve all of them (the original hardwood floor turned out to be to beat up to salvage) we’ve enjoyed unearthing a few of them during construction.  As we’ve often found before there are really interesting bits of history to be found underneath the surface of older buildings.

For instance, removing the the wall around a closet turned up the original lathe-and-plaster construction as well as this layer of makeshift wallpaper – old leaflets plastered to the wall.  They seemed to be travel adds and were probably used simply to seal the plaster.  But who knows … perhaps they were part of the decor or advertising for the original tenant.


Yesterday, we peeked inside the soffit wall built high over the front windows and found the original gold leaf sign on glass for the building.  The outside has long since been covered over with a decorative roof awning but during our construction we have a glimpse into what used to be up there.  We’ll leave it just like this for the next renovation or update to uncover in another few decades.


Watching Uptown Construction Progress

The construction process is fascinating  – watching walls appear as lines drawn on the floor, then framed outlines of metal studs and finally get closed out with sheetrock.  Below is the same view along the office and exam room hallway toward the front of the store.  At left, the framing is just begun, and the sheetrock (which will make future walls) is stacked along the side.  On the right, Matt and our cabinet maker, Nunzio, brainstorm a last minute detail by sketching on the wall, while a couple of construction guys wait to continue installing the decorative timber beams which will run along the hall and conceal uplighting.

framing and sheetrock

The base cabinets have been installed (below).  But they don’t look like much yet, without their reclaimed wood work surfaces.  That will come soon.


At left, a pile of reclaimed barn wood being cut and pieced to clad the ceiling of the Pre-test Tech area.  At right, a stack of polished oak desk surfaces and shelves ready for installation.


Although most of the newly installed hardwood floor (reclaimed shipping crate material from Viridian Reclaimed Wood is still protected by heavy duty construction paper, we found one out of the way area to see how it looks installed.  The answer, great!  We can’t wait to see the whole floor.


It won’t be much longer before the final custom built in items are finished in the shop and installed on site.  Watch this spot for a post showing off the completed project.  Then you’ll want to stop by Park Ridge to get your eyeglasses updated while you scope out the new storefront!