Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour Features Homes and Neighborhood Pride

photos courtesy Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour

This weekend’s Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour gives house fans the chance to visit a broad range of dwellings and neighborhoods in the cities. Whether you prefer Arts & Crafts bungalows, rambling old Four-Squares or compact midcentury homes, you’ll find something to love on this tour.

Among the 47 homes open for the free, self-guided tour are remodeled kitchens and baths, reconfigured floor plans, additions, and even some new construction. The homeowners, many of them longtime residents, are committed to their homes and their neighborhoods, and will be present during the tour to tell you about both. Builders, architects, and other trades people will also be on the premises to fill in details about the design and building process. A few highlights on this year’s tour:

Accessory dwelling unit (ADU) in Minneapolis

#13. 3456 33rd Ave. S., Minneapolis. You can call it a granny flat, mother-in-law unit, casita, a carriage house, or—most accurately—an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). When city zoning laws opened the door to this type of building, homeowner Chris Iverson and architect Christopher Strom walked through, adding this 640-square-foot home over the new garage behind Iverson’s duplex. He calls it his “condo” in the city.

1915 Craftsman Four-Square in Minneapolis

#3. 3416 Oakland Ave. S., Minneapolis. This 1915 Craftsman Four-Square, originally the parsonage for Park Avenue Methodist Church, was in danger of being torn down when the church decided to expand. Melvin North and Philip Miller decided on a rescue and restoration mission, relocating the house a block away and tackling the work it needed. Along with new water, electrical, and heating systems, they preserved the home’s gracious architectural features.

#8. 5405 Dupont Ave. S., Minneapolis. Kristy Barnes and Bryan Carter lived in their 690-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bathroom house for more than 25 years. When they decided to “pop the top” to add a new kitchen, three bedrooms, and a master bath—assisted by Acacia Architects, InUnison Design, and E.K. Johnson Construction—they more than doubled the size of the house but retained the light, airy feel they loved in the original space.

Solar panels on St. Paul house

#30. 1960 W. James Ave., St. Paul. When Craig and Barbara Skone lost a huge tree, they decided the time was right to go solar. All Energy Solar helps them connect the dots, including financing. The system is sized for their typical use, but they sell energy to the grid if they make more than they use. They want to show off what average homeowners can do to reduce energy costs and carbon footprints.

Remodeled kitchen in St. Paul

#32.1399 Edgcumbe Road. St. Paul. The 1980s remodel of this midcentury home’s kitchen cut it off from the rest of the house and clashed with its architecture. The remodel, designed by Kell Architects and built by Braden Construction, opened up the kitchen and added a mudroom area. The kitchen’s midcentury aesthetic and customized features make it more efficient as well as beautiful.

1880s home in St. Paul's Little Bohemia

#39. 74 S. Garfield St., St. Paul. Marit and Tom Brock and their family fell in love with this 1880 house the first time they visited, but needed to make some changes to make it work for a modern family. A modest addition and reconfiguration, with the help of Roberts Residential Remodeling, gave the family what they wanted: a welcoming family room, an additional shower, home office space, and more functional laundry and closet space. The Brocks also love the age and the history of Little Bohemia, and will have information on two projects underway in the neighborhood: the renewal of 412 Goodrich and 69 Garfield.

In addition to inspecting the clever kitchens, baths, and suite additions in homes of many vintages, you’ll also get a chance to see this project underway in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood. Along the way, don’t miss the rain gardens at the Hawthorne Eco-Village Apartments at 617 Lowry Ave. N., Minneapolis, and Bill Zajicek and Romi Slowiak’s home at 1492 East Shore Drive in St. Paul overlooking Lake Phalen.

Downloadable tour guide is available here. Paper copies are available at most metro area libraries. Tour hours: Saturday, April 28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, April 29 from 1-5 p.m.

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