Extraordinary Homes

Frank Lloyd Wright Inspired Home For Sale

Like unique homes? There is a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired residence available on the market. Larry and Fern Willson built their own Taliesin, Wright's landmark home in Wisconsin.

"We've always loved his prairie-style architecture and have visited some of his homes," said Larry. "We like open design and wanted to be able to see the outdoors from inside every room."

The couple collaborated with an architect to build the two-story home in 1992 on almost five wooded acres in Inver Grove Heights. After they sell, the Willsons plan to move closer to family and build another Wright-inspired home in Hudson, Wis.

The 2,952-square-foot Wright-style home has three bedrooms and three bathrooms. The kitchen was recently updated with granite countertops and new appliances. The master bedroom loft features a balcony overlooking the living room. It includes a number of built-ins in a variety of woods, a massive stone fireplace that spans three levels and deep exterior overhangs. The walkout lower level offers a bird's-eye view of trees, perennial gardens and wildlife.

Located 5 miles from Inver Grove Heights shopping and near downtown St. Paul, this home is priced at $494,900.

See our listing for this Frank Lloyd Wright inspired home
View other homes in Inver Grove Heights MN
Source: A taste of Frank Lloyd Wright - Star Tribune


Saint Paul History Hidden in Plain Sight


John Yust and Tom Schroeder may have discovered the oldest surviving commercial structure in Saint Paul: An unusual house on N. Smith Avenue in the Uppertown neighborhood. Now they're trying to restore it to its 19th century state.

"I drove past that house every day, and there was just something about it that didn't make sense to me," said Yust, an architect who has worked on many historic preservation projects in the Twin Cities.

For several years, the boxy stone house in Saint Paul with oddly placed doors and windows had fascinated them. Then three years ago the house went vacant and the pair had the chance to truly explore the house's historic and architectural mysteries. They were so intrigued Schroeder bought the house for $60,000 in May 2008.

The pair found that the stone house was built by the same stone mason that built Yust's own stone house a few houses away, a German immigrant named Jacob Amos. Digging on the site resulted in boxes full of treasures, including a dog collar with an 1877 license, women's corsets and an 1898 St. Paul Police Manual, with handwritten notes. But most importantly, they discovered that it had not been built to be a house at all, it had first been a saloon that went under after the financial Panic of 1857.

The stone house was built when the Minnesota territory was bustling with land speculation. Between 1850 to 1857, the territory increased in population from about 6,000 to nearly 150,000. Housing for all those people, though, was in short supply and land prices were beginning to skyrocket. In fact, the piece of land...

Extreme Makeover: Moorehead Edition

The Bill and Adair Grommesh family was surprised last week with news their Moorehead home would be replaced as part of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." On Sunday, they set eyes on their brand new house.

The Grommeshes have two children with special needs. Their 10-year-old son, Garrett, was born with spina bifida and must use a wheelchair. 11-year-old daughter Peighton has a pancreatic enzyme deficiency known as Axenfeld-Reiger's syndrome. While they vacationed in the Bahamas, their former house was relocated and a new handicapped-accessible home was built in its place within the span of just 106 hours.

The 5,200-square-foot residence includes three bedrooms, five bathrooms, a two-car garage, an elevator and an indoor pool with a lift for Garrett. Additional details of just what is inside the Grommeshes' new home is a mystery to all but the family, the production crews, and the volunteers. Their old home passed on to another deserving family.

The episode featuring the Grommesh family is expected to air sometime between mid-November and mid-December. "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" airs at 7 p.m. on Sundays.


House Boat - Er, Condominium Boat?

Minnesotans take their boating and fishing seriously. Even in the wintertime, with our ice houses and snowmobiles, we practically live on the water. St. Paul real estate developer David Nelson wants to appeal to Minnesota residents by building a 180-unit floating condo community that will navigate the waterways and rivers of the United States.

He's selling the units using various ownership models, including partial ownership. Prices range from $55,000 to $1.8 million. A one-bedroom unit will go for about $400,000. The boats will cover more than 10,000 miles on all the major rivers of the U.S. He hopes to start building next year.

Nelson is in the presale stage of the marketing process and has built out model units to show prospective buyers. He is floating his model down the Mississippi River to entice buyers to the riverboat lifestyle.


Extreme Makeover: Home Edition - In Blaine?

There was already an "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" that took place in St. Paul. Now the producers of the ABC reality TV show have focused their sights on homes in Blaine. The countdown clock is ticking! The show’s deadline to receive family nominations is next Friday, April 9, 2010.

To be eligible, a family must own their own single-family home and be able to show producers how a makeover will make a huge difference in their lives.

“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” provides home renovations for deserving families. Each episode features a race against time to complete a housing project that would ordinarily take at least four months. The effort involves a team of designers, contractors and several hundred workers. The residential property will be entirely rebuilt in 7 days.

What does it take to be picked for an “Extreme Makeover?”

“We really want to help families whose homes present major problems,” said Rebecca Shumsky, the show’s casting supervisor, in a recent news release.

“We want to help people whose stories have really affected their community or made a big difference,” Shumsky said. “We’re looking for special people who have amazing strength of character and never give up.”

Nominations may be submitted by the family or by a member of the community.

For additional information on how to apply as an episode nominee, read the rest of the news article and visit the show’s Web site.

Related Links

Saint Paul "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" Finished

In the blog last week, I wrote about the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" that was taking place in St. Paul. Now the new home at 226 Prescott Street on St. Paul's West Side has been finished! A crowd of more than 1,500 people were there on Friday to greet Sandy Morris and her two children, Catricia and Mychal, and to watch their reactions as they saw their new home for the very first time.

Saturday, the Morris family was still amazed.

“It’s a beautiful house, it’s amazing, it’s a beautiful house,” said Sandy Morris. It’s what went into the house that makes it so special for Morris and her children – lots of labor and love. “The amount of volunteers that came through here throughout the week… on cold rainy days and nights and were here all night long and all day.”

Click on the links to see pictures and videos. Click here to read the original "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" blog post.


"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" Descends on Saint Paul

Expect there to be a lot of noise and a flurry of action on St. Paul's West Side this week due to a taping of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." While the Morris family of 226 Prescott Street is off on a cruise courtesy of the show, thousands of volunteers have been working around the clock to complete the new home in less than 100 hours.

On Sunday, the house was demolished. On Monday, the basement wad been poured, framing put in place and working on the roof. The weather hasn't been helping matters.

"We can work with a little drizzle," said Tom Budzynski, owner of TJB Homes — the Blaine company spearheading the building of the Morris' new 2,800-square-foot home that will include three bedrooms, three baths and a separate area for the day care center that Sandy Morris operates out of her home. "But if it downpours, the health and safety of the crew is more important than working."

Apparently the Muppets have been on site? Miss Piggy had the honors of kicking down the last wall of the old Morris house, while Kermit ran the backhoe. They will be back on Thursday.

Construction on the Saint Paul home is scheduled to continue through Thursday. That is when the designers will decorate. The family will get the keys to their new home on Friday afternoon.

According to the Pioneer Press article:

If you want to see the house, a shuttle runs through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Signal Hills Center parking lot, 50 Signal Hills Center in West St. Paul. Spectators are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item as admission to the site. There will also be a blood drive on Thursday and Friday at the Neighborhood House at the Wellstone Center, 179 Robie St. E., St. Paul.

Personally, I'd aim for Thursday....

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