Barker and Hedges Real Estate Blog

Minneapolis Parks, Summer and The Arts

Minneapolis really, really, really, really, REALLY loves two things dearly: Its parks and the arts. So it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of artistic endeavors and other activities happening in Minneapolis parks this summer.

First is Ideawerks. Since 2003, the Institute of Production and Recording (IPR) has facilitated a music recording studio in the Powderhorn Recreation Center. The studio has provided a number of neighborhood youth access to equipment so they could learn to produce and record music. Great interest in the program has resulted in a partnership between IPR the Jackie Lee Robinson Foundation, and the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board to enhance the studio. Additionally, the Ideawerks program will eventually make recording, production, graphic design and multimedia arts available at more community sites throughout Minneapolis.

Second, you don’t need a theater to enjoy theatrical and...

Architectural Style - Italian Palladian

Italian Palladianism is a philosophy of design based on the writings and work of Andrea Palladio. Andrea Palladio, born in Italy in 1508, was a Venetian architect. He is widely considered to be one of the most influential architects in the history of Western architecture. He himself was influenced by Roman and Greek design.

He started out in life as a stone mason, but he began studying architecture in the 1550s. Powerful friends and associates of his introduced him to Venice, where he became "Proto della Serenissima" (chief architect of the Republic of Venice). It was during this time, and up until his death in 1580, that he developed the style which is now known as Italian Palladianism.

In his work, he tried to recreate the style and proportions of the buildings of ancient Rome. His style adhered to classical Roman principles he rediscovered, applied, and explained in his works. His ideas and philosophy were widely imitated throughout Europe, and...

Photo Friday - Gold Medal Flour Mill

This is the Gold Medal Flour mill in Minneapolis, Minnesota. During 1866, Cadwallader C. Washburn entered the milling business, building a flour mill on the Mississippi River at Saint Anthony Falls. The mill was a 6-story stone structure, with 12 pairs of millstones that had a daily capacity of 840 barrels. 

Gold Medal received its name on June 8, 1880, when the Washburn Crosby Company won the gold, silver and bronze medals on the three grades of spring wheat processed flour at the first International Millers' Exhibition. After winning the award, Washburn Crosby began using "Gold Medal" as the brand name on the firm's best grade of flour. On Aug. 19, 1880, the first flour was packaged and shipped from Minneapolis under that name.

Gold Medal Flour Mill

Work at the mill trudged on for years, and Gold Medal Flour made...

Architectural Style - Neo-Mediterranean

Neo-Mediterranean is a Neoeclectic style that mixes aspects of Spanish, Italian, Greek, and Moroccan architecture with contemporary North American ideas. Neo-Mediterranean houses are often called Mediterranean or Spanish Style. Some common features of a Neo-Mediterranean house are a low-pitched roof, red roof tiles, stucco siding, arches above doors, windows, or porches, and heavy carved wooden doors.

A Neo-Mediterranean home may resemble the Spanish Revival style, but these homes are not recreations of Spanish Colonial architecture per say. If it weren't for the romantic decorative details, a Neo-Mediterranean home would likely to resemble a Ranch Style house or Raised Ranch style home. There are prime examples of Neo-Mediterranean style architecture in Twin Cities communities.



Photo Friday - Washurn "A" Mill

The Washburn "A" Mill was the second-largest flour mill in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The original mill was built in 1874 by Cadwallader C. Washburn. At the peak of the mill's production, it could grind over 100 boxcars of wheat into almost 2,000,000 pounds of flour per day. Along with the Pillsbury "A" Mill and other flour mills powered by St. Anthony Falls, Washburn "A" Mill the contributed immensely to the development of Minneapolis.

Washburn A Mill

On May 2, 1878, a spark ignited airborne flour dust within the mill, creating an explosion that demolished the mill, two other nearby mills, and an ensuing fire decimated the surrounding business district. The Great Mill Disaster resulted in 18 deaths. The explosion made national news and led by example as to why reforms were needed...

Greening Minnesota - May

Because there are so many great environmentally friendly things going on in Minnesota, we like to do these little green updates on the Barker & Hedges blog. May's is inspired by Arbor Day. Okay, if you're up on your earth-friendly observances, you know that Arbor Day is celebrated nationally in April. But this year, some different things have been happening in Minneapolis, I'll get right into explaining it.

First, since last month's Greening Minnesota was so early in the month, I didn't get the chance to tell you about how the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) received the 2009 Celebration Award from the Arbor Day Foundation. The national award is given each year to recognize the community organization whose Arbor Day celebration best represents the spirit of the tree planting holiday. MPRB was acknowledged for its 2008 Arbor Day celebration, “125 Trees for 125 Years” which commemorated the board’s 125th anniversary with the planting of 125 trees just...

May Real Estate & Landscaping Classes

It's spring time, I'm pretty sure that most of the frosts have passed (though there was a little on my car at the obscenely early hour of 4:30 AM on Tuesday), and people are getting their Green Thumbs out to spruce up the yard for the selling season. Here are a list of classes being provided by Minneapolis Community Education through the rest of May.

Color and Design with Perennials This class is taken after the introductory class, "Perennials for Minnesota," and goes into more depth on how to keep your perennial garden blooming all season. Study how different color and plant combinations go together and what perennials grow best in each month. This class costs $18 and takes place Monday, May 18, from 6:30pm to 9:30pm at Southwest High School, 3414 W. 47th Street, Minneapolis, MN  55410. (612) 668-3100

Real Estate: Are You Prepared To Head Down The Road To Home Ownership? This...

Architectural Style - Queen Anne New York Row Houses

There were lots of different types of New York row houses, including those constructed in the Queen Anne style. Much like the Victorian Queen Anne style single-family homes, these rowhouses became fashionable in the 1880s and 1890s. They are characterized by their asymmetrical forms, front-facing gables, and use of contrasting materials, colors, and textures. Victorian Queen Anne New York Style Row Houses often have ornamental spindles, brackets, and other eccentric and fanciful details with Classical, Renaissance precedents and Romanesque Revival influences. They have a "whimsical juxtaposition" of window pane sizes, often pairing double-hung windows with a small paned upper sash. Three-sided projecting bay windows and and multi-paneled wooded doors are also typical features of QUeen Anne New York Row Houses. In the Summit University neighborhood of Saint Paul, there are excellent examples of the Victorian Queen Anne Style of New...

Minnesota First Time Home Buyer Forum

If you're a prospective first time home buyer, and you've been reading this blog for a while, you already know about our Minnesota First Time Home Buyer site. The website has been created to help first time home buyers with their research into purchasing a home. If you aren't aware of it, now you are! Let it be a resource to you if you are buying your first home in the Twin Cities or beyond.

But more to the point, this blog post is about a new feature at the Minnesota First Time Home Buyer site: A Forum.

The process of purchasing a home may seem overwhelming. There are many sources for first time home buyers to learn from and they all provide different information. The more knowledge you have about the home buying process, the more confident you will be when you venture into the real estate market. But any site can just provide information, sometimes it takes a conversation to really...

Photo Friday - Southeast Steam Plant

The Southeast Steam Plant, also known as the Twin City Rapid Transit Company Steam Power Plant, is a combined heat and power plant located on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. It is owned by the University of Minnesota. Constructed in 1903 to provide electricity for the Twin City Rapid Transit street railway system, it supported the area's major form of public transportation for 50 years until Minneapolis converted entirely to buses in 1954. In the early 1950s, Northern States Power Company, which is now Xcel Energy, acquired the building and in 1976 the university purchased the plant.

The university closed the Southeast plant to gut and rebuild the interior, and in 2000, reopened it and closed down its old coal-burning power plant. Completed in 2005, exterior rehabilitation won a local historic preservation award. Now it is among the cleanest burning power plants in the country, as the high...