Project Update Part One: White Bear Township Town Hall Building

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Building Research, Historic Preservation, Miscellaneous, paint

I have had the pleasure recently of working on a local building designed by the prominent architect Cass Gilbert. Gilbert is known for designing landmark buildings such as the Woolworth Building in New York City, the United States Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC and several state capitol buildings, including the Minnesota Capitol Building in […]

What Style Is It???

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Building Styles, Folk Victorian, Greek Revival, Historic Preservation, History

“What style is my house?” This is a common query from homeowners as they wonder how their home fits into the local architectural landscape. This is, however, a question that can be difficult to answer. Is a house a Victorian, Folk Victorian, National Folk, Vernacular, Queen Anne, Italianate, Second Empire or something else? Answers depend […]

Restoration, Renovation, Rehabilitation, Conservation: What Does it All Mean?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Historic Preservation, Maintenance, Miscellaneous

When talking about historic architecture we often use terms such as restoration, renovation, conservation or rehabilitation.  However, these terms have very specific meanings when used in particular contexts which can be quite different from how they are commonly understood.  It can be especially confusing when speaking to preservation professionals who use these terms following established […]

The Eastlake

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Building Styles, Eastlake, Historic Preservation

Charles Locke Eastlake (1836-1906) was a British-born furniture designer and architect and among the most influential figures in architecture and design in the last half of the 19th century.  Although his early designs were shaped by William Morris’s use of floral and medieval motifs, Eastlake later developed his own, distinctive style which emphasized angular detailing […]

Oil Primer Recipes and the Ask a Painter Facebook Livecast with Nick Slavic of Nick Slavic Painting and Restoration.

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Historic Preservation, paint

I just had the great pleasure of being the first interview on Nick Slavic’s Ask A Painter  Facebook Livecast program where we talked for two full hours about historic paints, varnishes, finishes and historic preservation and gave a quick look at The Landing in Shakopee, MN.   Nick hosts his live program each week on Facebook and gives […]

Making a 19th Century Door: Or, Why do Modern Replacement Doors Look so Strange on 19th Century Homes

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Doors, Historic Preservation, History, Joinery, Millwork

There are many differences between woodworking in today’s machine age and the 19th century. Contemporary carpenters and furniture makers rely on drawings, dimensions, and precise measurements to help them plan and build things. Before the Industrial Revolution, however, things were very different.  Although 19th century house joiners did rely on pattern books, these books didn’t […]

Window Sash Repair: Part One

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Historic Preservation, Historic Windows, Joinery, Maintenance, Millwork, paint

Although most of my work with Historic Design Consulting consists of consulting with owners of historic buildings, I occasionally so some restoration/conservation work myself.  As people have become interested in retaining historic windows I find myself working on window sash fairly often.  This Spring I have been restoring some sash from an 1881 railroad depot from […]

Wall Plaster in a 19th Century Log Cabin

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Historic Plaster, Historic Preservation, Log cabins and structures

When we think about the American frontier, images of isolation, privation and often labor can come to mind.  Life on the frontier certainly was difficult and dangerous.  A homesteader’s first year was often a frantic race to establish his family before winter snow began to fall.  The first job was to cut timber to clear land for planting […]