The Barn House

The Barn House

Confessions of An Urban Rehabber

Book - 2008
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A harrowing, hilarious memoir about fixing up an old house in the city and pursuing the urban version of the American Dream. From the longtime editor of the aStraight Dope.a
In 1993, after more people had fled Chicago for the suburbs than in any other city in America, Ed Zotti and his wife, Mary, chose not only to stay but to gamble their future fixing up a dilapidated Victorian home in a dicey neighborhood on Chicagoas North Side.
Two doors up from a murder/arson scene and across the alley from a former drive- up drug mart, the Barn House (as the Zottisa unimpressed daughter dubbed it) was a rehabberas nightmare. Ed and his family had to contend not just with collapsed ceilings and shorted-out wiring but burglars, gunshots, and the trumpet-playing homeless guy in the basement.
But THE BARN HOUSE is more than just the story of a home-renovation project from hell. Ultimately it's a celebration of cities, chronicling not just a house but a decaying town come back to life. Along the way Ed offers some shrewd observations about gentrification, urban decline and revival, and what it means to be a city guy. His book is timely and a great read and will appeal to anyone with a soft spot for old houses or old towns.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : New American Library, c2008
ISBN: 9780451225573
0451225570
Characteristics: 371 p. : ill. ; 22 cm

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