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Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

Using repurposed window frames and lumber, stained glass artist and jeweller Neile Cooper has created a tiny retreat in the woods that features dozens of her stained glass artworks. Glass Cabin looks like the perfect escape to recharge and even has a little working desk and couch. The New Jersey-based artist also sells unique…

via A Stained Glass Cabin in the Woods — TwistedSifter

Love this! Very creative, very colorful, and what appears to be such a peaceful setting.

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Ickworth’s Rotunda took 47 years to build and is 103-feet tall at its highest point. I’m fascinated by round buildings and this one (along with the park and gardens) is quite impressive.

Ickworth | National Trust website

The Ickworth Hotel – Looks like a grand place to stay and visit!

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City of Paris 1900

Long ago there was the City of Paris Dry Goods Company. It later became the City of Paris, an important department store in San Francisco from 1850 to 1974. The building survived the 1906 earthquake and fire but sustained damage. The interior remodel was redesigned by John Bakewell, Arthur J. Brown and Louis Bourgeois, graduates of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. It was rebuilt with a central, elliptical rotunda that was capped with a stained-glass dome. The skylit dome incorporates the store’s nautical origin and motto, Fluctuat nec mergitur(It floats but never sinks).

Dome SFL B&W

Detail 2

Detail 3

A forty-foot live Christmas tree was placed in the rotunda each year. The front doors of the store were specially designed to be removed and this allowed for an opening large enough for the tree to fit through. The tree was brought in, set up and decorated all in the same night. Staff and their families would help decorate. Scaffolding was placed around the tree to facilitate decorating it. Further reading reveals that the tree would be put outside on the sidewalk on January 2nd and one could walk by it and really get a sense of its size.

People familiar with the store recall the tree as beautiful and have very fond memories of their visits. I recall a similar large tree in the six-story atrium of the Marshall Field’s store in downtown Chicago. This atrium was topped by a Tiffany dome and the tree was known as the “Great Tree”. It was a wondrous sight, particularly to small children. It soared and filled the atrium space vertically. You can see a photo of the atrium here: Marshall Field’s Atrium

Christmas Tree SFL B&W

Christmas Tree in Rotunda SFL

Here are a couple of additional interior images.

Interior 2 City of Paris SFL

Interior City of Paris SFL

What a beauty. It was listed in The National Register of Historic Places as a California Historical Landmark. Alas, this fact and a protracted preservation campaign that went on for several years did not prevent it from being demolished in 1981 by the new owners, Neiman Marcus. The stained-glass dome was restored and preserved by the new owners. It has been reinstalled as part of the store’s entry and Rotunda Restaurant.

The new Neiman Marcus building was designed by postmodernist architect Philip Johnson. I haven’t seen the building in person. I don’t know that I would like seeing the elegant and beautiful dome inside a modern box. What about you?
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See this page for a photo of the current Neiman-Marcus building: California Historical Landmark – Noehill

Read an excerpt from a New York Times article here: NYTimes Excerpt – Review of Neiman Marcus

Wikipedia entry: City of Paris Dry Goods Co.
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In closing, I leave you with these words from Marshall Field & Company:

To do the right thing, at the right time, in the right way;
to do some things better than they were done before – 
The Marshall Field & Company idea.

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It seems many people are thinking of remodeling or adding on to their homes rather than moving given the real estate market we’ve had these past several years. If you’re one of these homeowners, here’s information on the Top 10 Remodeling Don’ts. A remodeling project is very often stressful. These tips may help reduce your stress levels and keep you on budget!
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And if remodeling simply won’t meet your needs, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help you make your next move.

Ellen and Kate Walsh
612.220.3304
Coldwell Banker Burnet

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If I had a choice between having a porch or a deck, then a porch would win any day of the week. I’m devoted to screen porches in particular. There’s nothing like having a shaded or sunny spot with no bugs and a breeze. And if it’s raining, you can still enjoy a screened porch despite the weather(provided the rain is coming down rather straight and your porch is large enough to allow you a sitting spot away from the screens).

I spend time on decks but they can get too hot in the middle of the day. The mosquitoes can eat at you in the evening, or even dusk. Forget being out there when it rains, unless you want to be wet.

Here, then, some images showing a variety of porches. Summer is on it’s way after all.

A traditional porch in Boston

Note the blue ceiling on this porch

This one has a rustic feel with its wood furnishings

A conservatory style porch in London

Another conservatory, this one in Philadelphia

A sweet porch in Charleston

An octagonal porch in Chicago

A porch with motorized Phantom screens and a fireplace

A small cottage in Los Angeles with a sweet and inviting front porch

A porch decorated with colors and plants

A wraparound porch in Portland, Maine

This porch feels very open and airy with its high ceilings

I had to include this one because I know exactly which house this is. I’ve been inside this house and this porch! The views are lovely.

 

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I love hardwood floor in a kitchen. I know some people get concerned about ruining them due to all the cooking that takes place here. There’s really not a need to worry though. Hardwood flooring is durable with some care. Mostly we swept our floors. It’s a low-tech, quiet way to care for them. Wood is  also warmer both visually and underfoot than tile and concrete. Wood offers natural beauty and an organic nature that has timeless appeal. It adds so much to a kitchen.

Have you been on the fence about putting wood flooring in your kitchen? Does this help you make up your mind?

The homes I grew up in had wood floors in the kitchens. We had three dogs and numerous children in our house. My parents still prefer wood floors in their kitchen.

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Here’s a beautiful room that reminds me of summer. I love the dark wood floors, the white walls and furniture, the wood accents (coffee table and chair arms), the fireplace, and the wall of windows. This is a great example of bringing nature inside your home. Isn’t it inviting? The pet dog seems happy enough.

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One day I was out walking around one of the city lakes here in Minneapolis. I came upon this retaining wall and gate. Not so unusual except that the house that once stood behind this gate was no longer there.

Gate

Here’s the house that used to be on this lot. My thanks to Dorothy Childers for permission to use her photo. It was a white stucco house with a red tile roof. The design has some quirky features and there appears to be an addition (possibly two)made over time.

2358 W Lk Isles - DChilders

Here’s the new house that is going up.  I took this photo back in October, 2012. I haven’t been back to see if they’ve completed it yet.

P1140020

Here’s a shot of the back side:

P1140090

This new one has a lot of detailing:

P1140017

P1140023

P1140024

I like the copper accents. I’m not sure I care for the “wavy” brick exterior. No doubt there is a name for this look; I don’t know what it is. I think house numbers with a bit more polish would be better for a home of this stature. Perhaps the owners are creative types and preferred a bit of whimsy over elegance. What do you think? Do you like this new house or the old house better?

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Fluid Movement Against a Brick Wall

I came across this scene in a neighborhood composed mainly of modern architecture and design. I love this sculpture outside the front of the home where it can be enjoyed by passersby. It adds an artistic element to the home’s exterior as well as providing fluid lines and movement amongst the more angular lines of the home.

Bethesda Dancing CoupleDo you have any sculpture outside your home?

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And Then They Bought It

My sister and I were working with a lovely newly wedded couple to find them a home. We looked at homes in Saint Paul. We looked in Minneapolis. We looked along the river front. And then this home came on the market. Initially, the only photo on the MLS was of the front exterior. I told them it was either ugly and dated inside or the listing agents were planning professional photos to be taken.  It turned out they were having professional photos taken of the interiors.

We went to see it right away. The couple knew they had found something special that first time through. My sister and I have worked with many buyers who have walked into homes and known immediately it was the home for them.

The home had been owned by the sellers for over forty years. The prior owners had also lived in this home for decades. Both of the previous owners had been newly wedded couples when they first moved in to this home. This is what I call great predecessor history. It bodes well for this couple’s future happiness.

The next day we went back with an architect to get some ideas and cost information for remodeling the kitchen. The architect confirmed they had great space to work with.

They made their offer, and after some pretty painless negotiation, the contract was signed and delivered. They secured an amazing 2.75% mortgage rate. The closing took place at the end of July. They love their new home.

I can’t wait to see their new kitchen!

The home has a great screened porch!

And a private, double lot with mature trees and perennial gardens.

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Ready to buy or sell a home? Call the sister team.
We’d love to help you move forward.

Ellen and Kate Walsh
Coldwell Banker Burnet
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

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Parade of Homes (New Homes)
September 8-30

Remodelers Showcase
September 28-30

Homes open Thursday through Sunday, noon to 6pm

There are very few new homes on the Parade this year compared with other years. There are far more remodels. This is not surprising given the real estate marketplace of late.

We’re featuring these two St. Paul remodels because we recently had clients close on their new home in St. Paul and they plan to do some remodeling. They are seeking to make the new space blend and match the original period of the house. This is always a good way to approach a remodel and addition; big differences in the feel of spaces will hurt sellers when it comes time to sell.

839 Osceola Avenue, St. Paul

Here is a description of this project from the Parade of Homes website: “This kitchen and bath remodel in a historically significant house in Saint Paul’s Summit Hill neighborhood illustrates how to remodel the heart of a house without losing its soul. Next Level Renovation, with designer David Heide, replaced the 1980’s kitchen in this 1890 residence with a space that features period sensibilities and the latest amenities. The original house was designed by Cass Gilbert, the turn-of-the-twentieth-century architect, notable for his classic homes and other buildings, including the State Capitol in Saint Paul.”

683 Portland Avenue, St. Paul

From the description on the Parade of Homes website: “Come and see how the convenience of a modern kitchen blends seamlessly with a stately home in the historic Summit Avenue neighborhood of St. Paul. The three-story addition also provides an art studio, main-floor laundry/mud room, and a cozy wine cellar with tasting room. In collaboration with architect David Herreid, McDonald Remodeling proves again that you can have it all: character, style, and convenience in your existing home!”

Contact us for more information if you are considering a remodel or an addition and would like to discuss keeping your home and design as salable as possible. Visiting the Remodelers Showcase homes is a good way to meet remodelers and see their work in person.

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Kate and Ellen Walsh
Coldwell Banker Burnet
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

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Adaptive Reuse for Historic Post Offices

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Can you imagine a historic post office as a residential home? I can. The US Postal Service needs to cut expenses and this may well be an opportunity to create a cool home. Or a small shop. Coffee house. Cafe. Legal office. Literary loft. What other uses can you think of for a historic post office? What would you use the post office boxes for? Would you incorporate them into the adaptive reuse design? And how about the mural?

 

“Find a new use for the Geneva post office so that it will continue to be a vital part of the historic downtown. Work with the U.S. Postal Service and other agencies to save historic post office buildings across the country.”

 

http://www.savingplaces.org/treasures/historic-post-office-buildings

Milton Friedman's Salad

I’m afraid the few times I’ve used a ZIP code recently have been for credit card validation or online, to locate a retail outlet near me.   The vast majority of mail envelopes that I open are done so with a double click.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation describes historic post office buildings as National Treasures, put them on their list of 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, and hired me to document 60134, located in Geneva Illinois.  The building is like much of the real mail that arrives at my studio:  battle worn but mostly intact, and occasionally hiding a beautiful surprise.

Painted in 1940 by Manuel Bromberg, the WPA mural is titled “Fish Fry in the Park.”

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An Award-Winning Design:
New York Penthouse Apartment with Rooftop Garden

I love this New York penthouse apartment. It’s open, full of light, and opens to a rooftop garden. Numerous green and sustainable components were used in this renovation. The lines are clean and linear and yet there is a sculptural aspect to the space as well. This is an excellent example of why it pays to hire an architect for renovations, a remodel and new build jobs. If you get a good architect, you just can’t go wrong.

Hmm, I have to take that last statement back. I’ve seen some homes “designed” by architects where the owners actually dictated more of the design than the architect. The relationship between owner and architect is certainly a collaborative one; however, owners with no design sense are better off leaving key design decisions to the professional. Note the adjective “good” used above to describe which architect to hire.

If I lived in New York City I would want a rooftop garden.

What do you think of this apartment? Would you want to live here? Are you a fan of modern architecture? Read more and see more photos at the websites listed below.

Awards include:

Interior Design Best of Year 2008 Eco-Residential Winner
AIA NY State Award of Excellence 2009

Learn more about the architect: JoelSandersArchitect.com.
All photos from JoelSandersArchitect.com

Read more about this award-winning design at Architizer.com

More photos, and text if you can read French: Un Green Penthouse  It appears the rooftop also has an outdoor shower. Très amusement!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Wrong

This week’s photo challenge is to depict something wrong. As in, there’s something wrong here. Here is a photo of a house I came across while out and about one day. It’s a stately home that has seen better days. I’ve been by it before, a few years ago, and it doesn’t appear to be getting much maintenance on the outside. This area definitely needs repair: this is serious wood rot.

Here’s another photo showing more of the front exterior and the way these pillars hold up the roof of the front porch and the third floor space. What keeps these homeowners from repairing their home? Is it financial issues? Is it lack of interest? Do they feel overwhelmed with the rest of their lives? I hope they can have it fixed before it comes crashing down.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting Moment
May 29, 2012

Minneapolis Public Library in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota

Setting the table at D’Amico Kitchen restaurant in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Children playing in a tree next to Lake Minnetonka

Learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting Moment.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Create
June 22, 2012

Washington Dulles International Airport
Wall of trees overlooking the terrace

This was the view that greeted me as I arrived on the ticketing level of Dulles last week. The window itself is beautiful; it’s further enhanced by the terrace beyond. It wouldn’t be nearly as pretty if it overlooked a parking lot. Also noteworthy is the reflection of the window, greenery and sky on the floor, all serving to double this picturesque setting.

Read more about the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

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Framing Art with Architecture

I attended an art exhibit one day. A glance upward brought this window into view. I found I liked this window more than much of the art hanging on the walls and displayed throughout the space below this window. (Photographed with a cell phone.)

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Real Homes. Real People. Real Ideas.
April 28–29, 2012

This weekend offers an opportunity to take a FREE, self-guided tour of 60 Twin Cities remodeled and/or reinvented homes. See homes projects that were both “on-a-budget” and “blow out”. You can tour examples of remodeled kitchens and baths, room additions, and whole house renovations.

These projects are unique in that they cover a wide range of housing eras. The home tour is also unique in that homeowners, contractors and/or architects are available to discuss the projects with visitors. This is a wonderful way to learn about remodeling, meet contractors and architects, and discover different neighborhoods.

This is the twenty-fifth year of the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour. It all began when some Minneapolis real estate agents and city officials were concerned about suburban flight. They took it upon themselves to promote city living and the home tour was born.

Homes will be open to visitors:

  • Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 29, 2012 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The home tour will take place regardless of weather conditions.

Minneapolis–Saint Paul Home Tour Preview – a video showcasing information and home tour highlights.

Minneapolis Home Tour Map

Saint Paul Home Tour Map

msphometour.com – the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour website.

Visit HistoricSaintPaul.org for information on: “Historic Homes for Everyday Families” workshop, why preservationists will enjoy the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour, walking tours of “Storybook” houses with architect Bob Roscoe, and more.

Thinking of buying or selling real estate? Call Kate and Ellen Walsh and we’ll help you make all the right moves.

Ellen Walsh
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

Kate Walsh
612.220.3309
info@designhouse9.com

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