The more things change, the more they stay the same… or do they?


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I’m back! In case you’re wondering where I’ve been – well I’m now the proud owner of a Master’s Degree in Design Studies from the Boston Architectural College!

As I turned the corner on my graduate studies I felt this inner battle that I have with myself about historic preservation and urban growth become more of a struggle. I find it frustrating because I don’t feel that the two need to be at odds, as they are often portrayed. I feel very strongly that preservation of buildings can be woven into a city’s plan for growth. In order to do this, I think we need to begin to think of preservation as a way of life for our cities and be more conscious of the built environment’s impact on our lives. I write this not just from the stand-point of a preservationist who adores old buildings, but also as an urbanist that loves to see cities grow and change. My hope is that these seemingly disparate objectives will begin to be seen as a cooperative means of creating interesting city neighborhoods. Accomplishing this won’t be easy, but I think there are three areas to start. Continue reading

“He now sleeps the sleep that knows no waking on this earth…”


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Minnesota History CenterA photo I took of the Minnesota History Center from the buildings upper level patio. It was a cold day so I was out their alone. But you can really see what a cool building it is.

Well as you may have already deduced, I grew up with a family that has always paid close attention to history. Although I didn’t develop a respect for this until I became an adult, I look back on it now with some affection. Often my parents will come to the Twin Cities and my Brother and I will accompany them to a museum exhibit, maybe at the Minnesota History Center or at the Science Museum. Weekend before last it was the Civil War exhibit at the Minnesota History Center.

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Seriously, where is spring?!

For those of you who are local, or even just in the Midwest, you’re probably asking the same question. Six inches of snow in the middle of April? That’s crap. My dog Morgan and I spent sometime contemplating how crappy that is the other day:

Morgan & Claire


Morgan & Claire

Yeah, we’re both pretty upset.

Hope you all are looking forward to my post on Monday. My family and I went to the Minnesota Historical Society’s History Center in St. Paul last weekend to check out the Civil War exhibit. It was great and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.

Other than that, I’ve been working diligently at finishing up my second semester of Graduate School. I’ll be done with this semester in May and then I’ll have a much needed break for the summer. I’ve also been posting photos of Minnesota from my own collection on the blog’s Facebook page – go check them out at and while you’re there – give the page a like!

Thanks for stopping by – check back on Monday for my post!


Remnants of Minnesota’s 19th Century

Hay Lake School
Hay Lake School – Scandia, MN circa 1898

One of my courses this semester centers on the evolution of American Architecture. Because the school I’m attending (online) is based out of Boston sometimes I feel like there is a bit of an East Coast emphasis. When the discussion is about American Architecture prior to 1800 or even 1850 it seems only natural that the emphasis would be placed on the East Coast, after all development elsewhere in the country had just started at that point. So, you can imagine my worry when I realized that my first paper for this course was to be about a local (to me) building that was built in either the 18th or 19th centuries. Frankly, I’m not aware of any buildings in Minnesota from the 18th century. If you’re reading this and you know of one, please comment because I would love to check it out!

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