Thinking Outside The Box

Adaptive reuse is the process of using an old building for something other then what it was originally created for.  It is used by many as a way to conserve land, preserve historic sites and revive streets and neighborhoods.  Often, a disused structure may be located on a prime location and may be created in an architectural style specific to a certain period.  Renovations to these structures may be costly, but the process of adaptive reuse is often times less expensive than demolishing and reconstruction of a new building. The first major adaptive reuse project in the United States was the redevelopment of Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco which reopened in 1964.

While there are many loft, condominiums and office spaces that have been redeveloped from old factories and other buildings. We thought it might be fun to show you a few projects that have raised the bar and created a truly one of a kind single family residence! While we are certain this isn’t everyone’s dream home, we think most can appreciate their sustainability and unique architectural features!

Georgian style church located in Northumberland, England.

1860’s concert hall located in New York City,  this building has had many purposes including a dance hall, convention hall, bar, restaurant and even a library! With over 6,700 square feet you will find no shortage of space here, this residence now has 11 bedrooms and a solarium. 
Victorian school house in London, this space was once the gymnasium and assembly hall.

1870’s church in Utrecht, Netherlands was also used as an antique furniture showroom, and a concert hall prior to the renovations in 2007.

Remember the saying everything old is new again!
Sources: 1/ 2 / 3/ 4 / 5/ 6/ 7

Basilica of Saint Mary and Saint Paul Cathedral

Comparing two great historic buildings in the Twin Cities….  Basilica of Saint Mary and The Saint Paul Cathedral. Both of which have similar architectural features and share the same architect, it’s no wonder they are both such show stopping buildings.

Basilica of Saint Mary

Basilica of Saint Mary

Interior of  Basilica of Saint Mary

Saint Paul Cathedral

Saint Paul Cathedral

Interior of Saint Paul Cathedral

Have you had a chance to tour these stunning architectural treats?

Sources: 1 / 2

The James J. Hill House- History

If you haven’t yet gotten the opportunity to check out the James J. Hill house on Summit Ave. in St. Paul, I highly recommend that you do so. I’ve made a few visits over the past few years and am always impressed, even beyond the stunning architectural details, pipe organ and 22 fireplaces there is so much to take in.

Pipe Organ
  • Completed in 1891
  • 36,000 sq ft (largest residence in Minnesota)
  • U.S. National Historic Landmark
  • Designed by Peabody, Stearns and Furber
  • Architectural style is Richardsonian Romanesque
  • James J. Hill supervised the design and construction very closely
  • Hybrid lighting system of both gas and electric
  • Hand tooled leather walls
    Upper Skylight
Grand Staircase
Have you been? What’s your favorite part?
Sources: 1 / 2 / 3

In Celebrating our Independence…

We have compiled a list of traditional home styles that can be found in various parts of the world, but are also found in the Minneapolis- St. Paul area. What else speaks traditions like a cozy front porch and an American Flag?

The American Craftsman

  • Origins date back the the late 19th century in Boston, MA
  • Features include: Low pitched roof lines, deep overhanging eaves, exposed rafters, front porch beneath extension of main roof, tapered or square columns, and handcrafted stone or wood-work
  • Notable architects include:  David Owen Dryden, Frank Llyod Wright, Greene and Greene, and Herberg Hapgood  
The Queen Anne 
  • Origins date back to the United Kingdom while  the American Queen Anne dates to the mid 19th century.
  • Features include: sash windows, local brick and stone, large wrap around porches, decorative trim, elaborate architectural elements, and  patterned shingles
  • Notable Architects: Sidney Stratton
The Tudor Revival
  • Features include: half timbering, herringbone brickwork, mullioned windows, high chimneys, dormer windows

The Dutch Colonial 
  • American Origins date back to early 17th century in Pennsylvania
  • Features include: gambrel roofs, flaring eaves, double hung windows, shutters, and a central double dutch door
The Georgian
  • American origins date back to the late 18th century
  • Features include: Symmetrical facade, double hung windows, paneled door with pilaster, and a pediment crown
The Second Empire
  • American origins date back to mid 19th century
  • Features include: Mansard rood with dormers set into it, patterned shingles and deep eaves with decorative brackets.

Sources: 1234/ 5 / 6

Getting to Know Tim Purcell Jr.

My background…

  • I have always had a passion for entrepreneurship, I started my first business around eleven or twelve, lawn mowing. Shortly there after I started a magic show business with a friend. We traveled around to daycare centers, retirement homes, private parties even high school halftime shows. Yes, we have a video but it’s locked away and I have no idea where the key is! 🙂 
  • During junior and senior high, I had a very strong interest in wood shop class, I enjoyed building furniture. 
  • After I graduated, I jumped into the business with both feet and the rest is history. 

If I could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why…

  • My answer would be different when asked at a younger age but now I would say Minnesota. Being around family is very important to me, I  think its important for my three boys to discover where their parents where raised and who their family is.  I don’t really enjoy winter, I think eventually I would like to be somewhere warmer, but my boys would have to come along!
  • With that being said my brother lives in London with his wife and newborn daughter and my sister lives with her boyfriend in San Francisco. I wish my boys could spend more time with them but it sure does give us great places to visit!

My dream home…

  •  Would have lots of land and history

My hobbies include…

  • Coaching youth hockey
  • Golfing
  • Working around our yard
The Chicken coop, I recently completed in our backyard

 5 things I can’t live without…

  • Sun
  • Lunch and dinner
  • My wife and kids
  • Great friendships
  • Being busy

Not in that order!

Fill in the blank, No home would be complete without a ________________.

  • A conversational piece