Dayton Street Residence Stair

Chicago, Illinois

This four-story 1880s townhouse in Lincoln Park was completely transformed from a series of dark rooms connected by narrow, concealed staircases into a light-filled family home.

Central to the design program and linking all four floors, is the dramatic, elliptical staircase. Positioned within an existing angled bay with punched windows and crowned by a new circular skylight, the new open stair allows daylight to flood every floor.

Photo by Cramblits Welding
Photo by Cramblits Welding
Photo by Cramblits Welding

For fabrication, the completed model was digitally flattened to a 2D CNC file whereby the stringer geometry and picket openings were plasma cut from flat steel plate ¾ inch thick. Stair sections were then rolled to form the inner and outer stringers and joined with steel plate tread supports, ultimately clad in white oak treads. Delivered to the site in seven separate pieces, the stair sections were dropped through the skylight opening in the roof and installed from the bottom up.

The stairway was acknowledged in the 2018 AIA Chicago's Small Project Awards program.


Structural Engineer: Goodfriend Magruder Structure, LLC
Fabricator: Cramblits Welding
Photographer: Bill Zbaren