Rehab addicts have a new show to add to their watchlist. On HGTV’s Windy City Rehab, Alison Victoria restores vintage homes in historic Chicago neighborhoods. Here’s what you need to know about Victoria and her plans to revitalize old houses in America’s third-largest city.
HGTV viewers will recognize Victoria
If you’re a regular HGTV viewer, you’ll recognize Victoria as the host of Kitchen Crashers. While that show focused on rehabbing kitchens, Windy City Rehab takes things to a whole new level. Viewers follow along as Victoria and her team complete top-to-bottom fixes of homes in Chicago neighborhoods like Bucktown, Lincoln Square, and Ukrainian Village.
Victoria – whose real name is Alison Victoria Gramenos — is a native of Chicago. She’s said it’s her “dream” to renovate homes in the city. But working there comes with certain challenges, like brutal winters, permit delays, and tough real estate market.
“It’s my dream to flip houses in my hometown of Chicago,” she told HGTV, “but renovating homes in this price point leaves a ton of money on the line. These are high-stakes projects that could spiral out of control at any minute. It’s big risks and big rewards.”
She owns her own interior design firm
Victoria owns her own interior design firm, Alison Victoria Interiors, which has offices in both Chicago and Las Vegas. Victoria graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and still splits her time between that city and her hometown. Projects she’s worked on include the Trump Hotel Chicago and Silverton Hotel and Casino Las Vegas.
On the show, Victoria makes a point of using period-appropriate details in the homes she’s rehabbing. “I find artifacts from the original time and bring them into the build, make them look like they’ve been there for over 100 years,” she told the Los Angeles Times.
She’s clashed with the neighbors
Not everyone is thrilled when Victoria shows up to renovate a home on their block. The people living next door to one of her rehabs objected to the size of an addition that was being put on the home, which they told Block Club Chicago was “ruining the character of the block.” They also complained the crew created hazardous conditions when working on the home, the Chicago Tribune reported.
For her part, Victoria says her goal is not just to be another developer who is more focused on profit than the character of a neighborhood. She’s said the renovation of her own home in the Bucktown neighborhood reflects her commitment to preserving the city’s unique architectural character.
“(People stop) to take pictures of the house because I was able to bring the beauty back, and I knew I wanted to do that forever,” she told the Tribune. “I wanted to be able to put my stamp on the city because so many other developers were just building things that weren’t being true to what the city’s known for, and every single home that we’re doing is achieving just that.”
Windy City Rehab airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on HGTV.
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