A quick update on this front. Jon and i have started to look into the Homeowners Assistance Program for obtaining a construction permit. Chicago is weird, probably as weird as every other city in the country. There are a few different ways to get a constriction permit. Route 1) the standard method, seems to require architect signed drawings ($$$) submitted via an expediter ($$) requiring 6-11 weeks for approval ($$$ (because in construction time=$)). Route 2) the Homeowners method requires homeowner generated drawings - of every thing from floor plans to plumbing schedules and wall sections (because every homeowner can do those kinds of things without an architect or contractor's help!) and once all materials are submitted and approved, a permit is issued that same day.
SO, because of the smaller expense and potentially quicker timeline, we are going to try out the Homeowner Assistance method of getting a building permit. All this to explain that i spent last Friday morning down at City Hall meeting with a municipal employee (aka the friendliest and most helpful people on earth) to start the process. It was a chilly morning so i bundled.
After meeting with said intimidating employee we now have a our checklist in hand of drawings and forms we'll need to complete to get our permit, including such fun items as:
-proposed floor plan with all dimensions
-existing floor plan with all demolition indicated
-alderman approval waiver
-wall section (had to google what that meant)
-plumbing schedule fee (google didn't help as much with that so i still don't totally know)
It's an adventure in bureaucracy!