The long-delayed Home Tour review post! I visited only two houses #24 and #25 on the list for 2019. Both are ADUs, but #24 was attached, and #25 was detached. Both were very interesting, and also very different from each other.
4000 12th AVE S., the twenty-fourth stop on the home tours for this year, was built by the Community Land Trust in association with the City of Minneapolis and designed by Marnie Peichel. It is an incredible use of space! Clearly designed with multi-generation families in mind. (It is currently pending sale for about 230k for the entire space.) The attached ADU is a one bedroom space with its own kitchen and bathroom that is attached to the 3 bedroom 1.5 bath main house via double (french-style?) doors in the respective kitchens as well as through a shared laundry room. The two units face different streets of the corner lot and have their own separate entrances. The separate but connected kitchens give a great opportunity to jointly cook and share meals while having separate day to day lives. The ADU itself was relatively small, probably about 400-600 sq ft, but very livable. I hope the Community Land Trust is able to build more of these kinds of homes as they clearly did a great job with this one and intergenerational or extended family living helps support seniors staying in community longer as well as providing deep housing affordability with more folks living in shared spaces. Let alone the social and cultural benefits of traditional living arrangements of family taking care of family.
I first met Chris Strom and Alison Markowitz Chan, our architects, in person at the ADU they designed and were helping to show off at this spring’s Home Tour. The red barn-like detached ADU at 3537 37th Ave S. was striking and seemed well matched to the desires of the owners, the Erickson family, for a guest space for family and additional play space for their young kids. The vaulted ceilings gave the one bedroom guest quarters a strong feeling of space to stretch out. The main area was a kitchenette/living room combo, with the kitchen overlooking the stairway. There is a small half to three quarter bathroom and small bedroom located off the north and east sides respectively. I really liked the use of dormers on the north and south sides to provide additional natural light. As well as the window visible behind the kitchen on the west side over the stairs. In all it felt airy, Scandinavian-Minnesotan, and like a great space to spend time with grandparents and kids. However, the kitchen and general orientation of the space made it clear this was primarily intended as a garage for the homeowners and guest space for out of town relatives rather than for rental. I hope the Erickson family is enjoying their space after the frenzy of construction time and appreciate their letting us all in to see what an ADU can be. It was also interesting that despite copious signage asking people to approach from the alley, people are very unused to ADU alley orientated buildings and kept traipsing past the yellow tape across the owner’s lawn. While alleys are also our streets, we seem to have a collective “huhh??” when asked to use them on foot. After seeing this ADU and the Strom Architect’s general design aesthetic I’m excited to see what we’ll be building together at perhaps a little larger scale than this more guest oriented space.
The Minneapolis St. Paul Home Tour is a great tradition I hope we can take part in sometime in the future.