Lori Hannigan remembers the time she built her first chimney after being hired by Edward Cross & Son, Inc. in Oak Park. Mr. Cross put her in his garage on a rainy day, mixed mortar and laid out a pattern for a chimney. He started the structure, handed the trowel and bucket of mortar to Lori, said it was all hers and left. She wanted to insure she did the best work possible and therefore decided to start the structure over. When Mr. Cross returned two hours later, he was impressed to find a chimney about eight courses tall that was both exactly plumb, or aligned, and level.
Edward Cross & Son, Inc. has been in business since 1937. After years of dedicated, quality work, Lori became the owner in 1987. She continues to strive for perfection in all her projects and does not expect her staff to complete any task she herself cannot do. Whether it is setting up a forty foot ladder or pulling up a heavy bucket of mortar to the roof of a house, Lori shows her employees she is not just the boss, but a determined laborer and tuckpointer. Consequently, she is proud to have made a name for herself in a male dominated industry.
Lori specializes in chimney rebuilding and masonry repairs. With her attention to detail, Lori and her team use their skills as artists to rebuild and repair old structures to their former glory. She has even worked on many Frank Lloyd Wright homes. The project with the biggest challenge, but that resulted in the biggest success, was rebuilding the large chimney on the Adams Home at 710 Augusta in Oak Park. It involved a large scaffolding system, cleaning all the bricks, and restoring the chimney to the exact same design in order to satisfy the Frank Lloyd Wright Historical Board.
Lori helps clients understand the standards of the industry so they know what to expect from contractors in the future. She even teaches her customers about what caused the problems that are being fixed. These qualities truly make Edward Cross & Sons, Inc. a unique business.