Virtually abandoned for what we believe to be about 7 years, this house was owned by the City of Minneapolis as a result of property tax non-payment. Acquired through a City program that seeks to return city-owned housing to private hands, this house was in relatively good condition for a house that had sat unoccupied for so many years. This nearly 100 year old home had been neglected during this protracted period of abandonment, but had also not seen much change since at least the 1950's. It made this house ripe for a top to bottom renovation; it was full of charm and great interior trim, built-ins and hardwood floors that simply needed to be refinished and updated.
The transformation began with the abatement of asbestos flooring in the kitchen and the asbestos wrapped furnace and ductwork in the basement. The abatement revealed hardwood in the kitchen that, with a little elbow grease, proved to be salvageable.
The use of high-efficiency mechanical systems enabled the removal of the brick chimney thus allowing the unfinished attic space to be converted into a master bedroom suite seldom seen in a house of this age complete with a walk-in closet. As an added bonus, it enabled the more efficient use of space within the kitchen where cabinets could be located on two facing walls without the waste at the corner where the chimney is typically located. This further allow us to open the wall adjoining the dinning room therefore enhancing the feeling of openness between the existing dinning room and kitchen.
Further surgical changes were made to extra-deep closets that flanked the main floor bathroom. Stealing a little depth from the existing closets and increasing the size of the doors accessing those closets in the bedrooms allowed for the expansion of the bathroom which previously had been so small that the door could only be opened part way before it was stopped by the sink.
All of these subtle interventions, coupled with the repair of the salvageable windows, the careful refinishing of interior woodwork and floors and the reuse of existing doors and hardware made for a home that looks new but has the charm and feel of a much older home.
To see the Star & Tribune article in the "Homes" section, "Before and After" go to...