Remodeling a historic home takes finesse. A good architect honors the home’s historic legacy while meeting the modern homeowner’s needs. Three homes on the 2019 Homes by Architects Tour are historic renovations that more than succeed on both levels.

Home 8, “El Rancho Residence”in St. Louis Park, was originally named the “Wagon Wheel House” and was built by the artist Martin Fowler as his family home in 1949. The architects wanted to reflect the original log cabin style in their remodel to maintain the building’s original structure and character. Existing materials were salvaged and given new life for a modern feel for the current artist owners.

In designing Home 3, “Schoolhouse Block,” a former schoolhouse in downtown Excelsior, the architect had to work closely with the community’s Heritage Preservation Commission. The historic front façade is honored and combined with a contextually sensitive remodel of the back, creating a space that meets the current and future needs of the homeowners without destroying the legacy of the building.

Asa Parker founded Minnesota’s first commercial sawmill and lumber business, kicking off industrial enterprise in the state. He built Home 13, “Asa Parker 1856,” during that period. The current homeowners wanted to renovate the home for modern living while respecting the legacy of this Classical Revival house. The new addition is thoughtful and respectful to the original home; exterior and interior detail features were preserved, and new features were custom-designed to blend into the existing home.

Tickets to the 12th annual Homes by Architects Tour go on sale August 2. Learn more at

The 2019 Tour is supported by Marvin Windows & Doors, Elevation Homes, Hagstrom Builder, Landscape Renovations, Stinson Builders, Inc., White Oaks Savanna, Pella Windows & Doors, Belrose Hardwood Floors, Dovetail Renovations, Frost Cabinets, Hage Homes, Hirshfield’s, Lelch Audio/Video, Martin Patrick 3, Otto Painting Design, Orijin Stone, Semihandmade, Showcase Renovations, The Sitting Room, Synergy Products, and Urban Ecosystems, Inc.

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