They Fell in Love…

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.


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




Witch’s Hat Water Tower

Photo of the Day
March 21, 2011

The Prospect Park Water Tower was designed by Frederick William Cappelen and constructed of concrete in 1913 at Tower Hill Park. It was given the nickname “Witch’s Hat” due to its green tile conical roof. It’s easily visible from I-94 since it soars up above the tree tops and has that uniquely shaped roof. For years I wondered exactly where it was located. I now know it’s at 55 Malcolm Avenue SE.

Directly below the roof is an octagonal Romanesque-arched belvedere with panoramic views of the city.  The interior of the tower is open to the public just one day a year on the first Friday in June. I haven’t had the pleasure of going inside yet. Maybe this year.

The tower is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Happy 4th of July!

Scenes from Weko Beach, Bridgman, Michigan.

I was fortunate to spend summers in this idyllic part of Southwest Michigan as a child. I recently spent a week here and still love the woods and beaches that make this place so special.

This water tower was a big, brownish blemish on the beachfront when I was a child. The artwork covering it now is far more charming. The artwork is weathered from its exposure to the elements but this quality only enhances it in my eyes. It gives it a natural look and feel that fits in with the surroundings. It’s definitely an improvement from its former bland and unappealing visual state.

Many people will be heading to cabins, lakes, campgrounds, and parks this weekend. Enjoy the respite that nature provides so brilliantly.  And may you find your own bit of charm this holiday weekend.

The History of Bridgman, Michigan


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Old School, New Art, Big Lake

Old Excelsior Public School Building in Excelsior Minnesota

This building was built, according to tax records, in 1898, and sits on just under an acre of land. It’s a beautiful building in the Twin Cities area in Excelsior, Minnesota. It’s now used as commercial space and is a wonderful example of building re-use and adaptation. It’s architectural details are varied and numerous. It looks like a bell tower on the top. If only the bell were still in place. It could ring the hours of the day.

Old Excelsior Public School by Lake Minnetonka in Excelsior Minnesota

The Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society has their offices here. The Society’s museum and archives are free and open to the public. It was founded in 1972 and serves the communities of Excelsior, Tonka Bay, Deephaven, Shorewood and Greenwood. It’s nice to know one can still learn in the former school building.

Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society

Flagpole at Old Excelsior Public School Building in Excelsior Minnesota

The flagpole is still on the site. It reaches up into the trees. There was no flag flying on the day that I took this photo. I’m not sure one ever does with the tree branches being of the same height. I find it comforting that both the tree and the pole are here, honoring the life and history of each of them.

On another note, Art on the Lake, an art fair, takes place this weekend, June 12th-13th, in Excelsior. There are free shuttles from the Minnetonka High School. The event takes place at Excelsior Commons, a large park area next to Lake Minnetonka. And if you find it too wet with the rain, head on over to the Old Excelsior Public School Building to learn more about the area’s history.

Art on the Lake


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