the heart is.
(Pliny the Elder) 23 - 79,
For more than forty years I added on to an 1880 Stick Style Victorian with four additions faithfully reproducing the exterior trim and having a lot of fun with the compromised interior. More than a decade ago my partner Steve moved in, my next door neighbor Lorraine died and I bought her modest 1948 one-story rambler and vacant lot from her estate.
While renting out the house I began to develop the lot, about 90 X 50 feet, into a Zen-inspired landscape. Aside from marginally diverse plantings, it included an 18-foot traditional gate (torii), a moon-viewing pavilion, natural Kasota stone installations, two granite lanterns, seven-foot vintage fencing from the local Schmidt Brewery (1860/1900), and bench fashioned from its keg cradles.
In 2017, through the COVID years, we began a rebuild of the cottage—three floors! The exterior ground level has Shou Sugi Ban, traditional Japanese fire-preserved cypress, the upper floors board and batten painted red, and custom balconies that give onto the Mississippi River valley. The interior incorporates reclaimed cast iron, hard woods, and built-in accessibility including three-stop elevator. The ground floor includes a conservatory-gallery, office and utilities; first floor: kitchen, dining/living rooms, and sitting-bed-bath suite; second floor: sitting-bed-bath suite and guest room.