According to Margo Ashmore, who coordinates the Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour, this year might be “The Year of the View.” That’s because, Ashmore enthuses, if you’re “[s]tanding at the highest or most remote points on the 2016 tour, the views are spectacular.” Those points include the Custom House residences overlooking the Mississippi River in St. Paul, and the perches at the tope of the A-Mill Artist Lofts with views of the Minneapolis skyline and river.
“My apartment is above the tree line of Saint Anthony Falls, the birthplace of Minneapolis,” says artist Aldo Moroni, who lives in the artists’ lofts. “Its front windows look out on the dramatic Philip Pillsbury Park and the Stone Arch Bridge. The wide windows look at the Historic 1881 Leroy Buffington-designed Pillsbury A-Mill.” No doubt Moroni takes some of his inspiration for his architectural sculptures from his surroundings.
This year’s tour—held Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1—also features, as always, new and renovated homes throughout the Twin Cities. In Saint Paul, the roster includes a “working man’s Victorian” on Saint Paul’s West Side; a brand-new, Enterprise Green Certified house built by NeighborWorks Home Partners in Frogtown; apartments and community space in the transformed former Old Home building on Western Avenue North; and a number of historic homes in Dayton’s Bluff. Minneapolis has beloved bungalows, terrific Tudors, showstopper kitchens, additions for growing families and even an ADU (accessory dwelling unit). For a complete guide, click here.
The Home Tour is well known for featuring “real homes, real people, real ideas.” That means wear comfortable shoes, be ready to kick them off, and have your notepads and questions ready. The residents will be available to show you around and share their stories and provide their insights. “Be assured,” Ashmore writes in the Home Tour brochure, “this 2016 tour features many locations with the kitchen, bath, master suits and other remodeling ideas everyone loves to borrow.”
Can’t get enough? The Home Tour has scheduled 17 talks on such relevant topics as passive solar, reclaiming your basement, building green, and how to design an ADU as a studio or granny flat—which Minneapolis is encouraging to increase density, and Saint Paul is working on. Great ideas and rooms with a view: A great way to spend a spring weekend.
By Camille LeFevre