Archive for the 'Architecture' Category

Remodeling Your Minneapolis Duplex? Think Like A Picker

said on June 17th, 2013 categorized under: Architecture

1 Comment »

bauer brothersWhat should you do if your 1920’s duplex is missing the built-ins and charm that made them so popular?

After all, there aren’t a lot of carpenters doing that kind of work today. And those who do? Well, they’re usually backed up and/or expensive.

Over the weekend  I stumbled into what may be a faster and less expensive solution for many Minneapolis duplex owners.

Bauer Brothers Salvage in north Minneapolis is roughly the equivalent of American Pickers, on steroids, for architectural pieces.

Located in a giant warehouse, the place is four full floors packed with anything you could ever need to take your Craftsman duplex back to its original condition.

Need a period door? Odds are they’ve got one. How about the small bookcases that once helped differentiate the living room from the dining room? They’ve got those too.

And if you’re simply in the market for a conversation piece, odds are a porcelain embalming table or theater seats from Northrup Auditorium could do the trick.

Bauer Brothers will also buy or take in trade unwanted architectural items. And if it’s too big and cumbersome? They’ll even come pick it up.

These places exist elsewhere. In Los Angeles, for example, you may have similar luck downtown at Santa Fe Wrecking.

And if you’re not in Minnesota or southern California, you may be able to find comparable businesses by simply searching the Internet for architectural salvage in your area.

It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon and improve your property at the same time.

Minneapolis Duplex Owners Lose Valuable Resource

said on January 17th, 2011 categorized under: Architecture


Antique molded bricks stacked on grass.One of the best resources in Minneapolis for restoring duplexes to their original charm and character queitly closed its doors last month.

The ReUse Center just off of Lake Street, which sold salvaged building materials and architectural pieces, was closed by the non-profit organization that ran it; The Green Institute.

The ReUse Center was one of the first places to look if you were trying to replace a vintage Craftsman-era door, Victorian doorknob or simply needed a small amount of paint or tile. The Green Institute ran the retail store under the premise of keeping reusable building materials out of landfills.

In short, the Center was closed because it simply wasn’t profitable.

While there are hopes that after some business reorganization the ReUse Center can re-open next year, there doesn’t seem to be a concrete date for that to happen.

Until then, the Green Institute’s other ReUse Center, at 1723 E. Highway 36 in Maplewood remains open for now.

Of course, it’s important to note that the Twin Cities are relatively rich with architectural salvage companies. Google it. You’ll be surprised at what you find.

Is That Minneapolis Duplex A Painted Lady?

said on November 20th, 2009 categorized under: Architecture

1 Comment »

Typical Queen Anne

Typical Queen Anne

Woodwork. Investors, owner occupants and single family home buyers all go crazy for woodwork.

And for whatever reason, we all think woodwork is found in those grand two story Victorian homes  and duplexes.

Ironically, when most people think of built-ins and woodwork, they say the word Victorian, but in their heads? They’re actually thinking Craftsman.

For today, let’s talk about what constitutes a Victorian property.

The Victorian age happened in the 1880s and 1890s, during the reign of England’s Queen Victoria. There wasn’t a set, specific kind of house or duplex.

The age was more about an attitude, about out-doing your neighbor, and going over the top. In fact, these homes are often called “Painted Ladies” for the highly expressive and brilliantly-colored paint schemes they once boasted.

 The construction of the era consisted of many styles that shared certain common characteristics.

Most Victorian building occured between 1880-1910. These properties were among the first to feature full basements and tend to have more complex roof shapes. They often featured gas lighting, a wood or coal furnace and  (I’ve seen this in both the northeast and Seward neighborhoods), cisterns for their water supply.

There weren’t a lot of duplexes built in the era. However, those that were share with their single family counterparts high ceilings (10-12 feet on the first floor, nine feet on the second) and in the higher end properties, ornate details like leaded glass, occasional built-in buffets with scrolls and floral patterns, and pillars with scrolls at the top.  Hardwood floors are a given, as are the headers at the top of every door; straight, capped with a little ledge, almost like a lid on the frame.

Common categories of Victorians include Neoclassical, Queen Annes And Shingle. The Neoclassical Victorians tend to grand two-story columns on the front.  

Read the rest of this entry »