Historic Bluff Home
St. Paul, Minnesota
The bluffs of the Mississippi River Valley and the Smith Avenue High Bridge provided a dramatic backdrop for the renovation of this two-story home built in the 1870’s. The historical context of the original 940-square- foot house was maintained by using matching building materials, and a one-story addition was designed with complementary proportions and scale. The 840-square- foot addition includes a new living room, dining room, main entry with front porch, garage, back entry, bathroom and laundry room. The addition’s new lower level includes a sitting/guest room, bathroom, bicycle workshop and mechanical/storage space. The existing living room was changed into the master bedroom and existing dining room was turned into the kitchen and pantry. The addition was sided with native limestone—some of it sourced from the site excavation—that matches the existing foundation stonework. Most of the interior finishes and materials were either reused from the existing house or sourced from local architectural salvage dealers. This includes old-growth fir flooring, barn beams, paneled fir doors, hardware, lighting fixtures, stairway railing, and kitchen and bathroom sinks and other plumbing fixtures. Part of the roof was designed to accommodate future solar panels. The landscaping was also designed by Studio Hittle.