Restored Homes Showcased in the annual Minneapolis-Saint Paul Home Tour
One of our favorite weekends every spring is the annual Minneapolis-Saint Paul Home Tour. The tour takes place at the end of April or beginning of May and highlights city living, trends in new construction, and stunning renovations and restorations of older homes.
For NeighborWorks Home Partners, the Home Tour is a chance to introduce the homes we’ve been working on throughout the year. In 2018, the tour was the debut of two single family homes both being brought back from vacancy and neglect.
The home at 826 Charles Avenue was one of the many homes in Frogtown that fell to the foreclosure crisis. The house was boarded up, but that didn’t stop squatters from breaking in and taking up residence, damaging the home, creating health hazards, and drawing crime. Once the home of good neighbors, the property had become a source of distress.
The home required extensive renovation, including moving walls to create a better floor plan and add a bathroom and pantry on the main level. Construction wasn’t complete by the time of the tour, but that turned out to be a positive. Visitors had a chance to see a work in progress and get a glimpse into the structure itself – the kitchen ceiling was still open to show the joists and the new runs of plumbing and the electrical system.
At 979 Iglehart, several blocks away on the other side of I-94, this house was home to a collector of a variety of items. The garage was filled top to bottom, as was much of the house. The basement included a secret locking safe, and loads (literally) of live ammunition, particularly mortars. It was a delicate operation to clear the house so that the renovation could begin.
By the time of the Home Tour, this home was completely transformed, with light and airy bedrooms, gleaming hardwood floors, an open floor plan, main floor laundry, and all-new kitchen. (My favorite, though, is the spacious front porch on a corner lot, a good place to relax and wave to neighbors as they pass by.)
One of the best parts of the tour is talking to the guests who come through. We learn a lot about how people relate to their own homes and neighborhoods. One couple who visited the Charles Avenue home was looking for examples of renovations that were adding first floor bathrooms as they planned to age in place in their home. A regular Habitat for Humanity volunteer stopped by to learn more about construction techniques in older homes. Another visitor was a neighbor who had lived through the troubles that came while the home sat vacant and was eager for a new homeowner and neighbor to move in.
We are grateful to the 340 people who took the time to come learn more about our work, and the organizers of the Home Tour for giving us this opportunity. We can’t wait to show you what we do next!
About the Author:
Helping people find homes has been a passion of mine and I am glad to be able to do that as a member of the NeighborWorks Home Partners team. As Marketing and Communications Coordinator, I am working to build community online and offline, spread the word about the services we offer, and share the success stories of our customers. I enjoy gardening (in theory; I don’t seem to have the time to keep up with it), volunteering, singing in choirs, finding treasures and deals at thrift stores, and living the hectic life of a parent to teen children.
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