A Porch Fit for a King

The porch is coming along nicely.


The shell of the bottom of the old porch with the ghost of its top. That stunted porch served the house and its occupants to the best of its ability for decades, but it’s time for it to retire in favor of something better. Farewell!


The poor old porch is gone, leaving just its stairs. All around it you can see indications of something new (and better) to come.


There’s now a bridge from the old stairs to the door, cleverly ensuring that guests always have safe access to the B&B. There was some question as to whether a permanent drawbridge and moat might not be an option. Alas, ultimately not. The outline of the new porch has been mostly framed in.


Look! New stairs! And floor joists! Enticing to kids playing in the gloaming with lit windows glowing around them.


A more workman-like view of the progress. Frame and stairs, with one pillar support post roughed in and another in process nearby. As soon as the joists were laid, a temporary floor was put down between the stairs the the door. Safe,  solid, and easy access to the B&B is always a priority.


The roof! And the second pillar support completed and installed.


A more definitively framed roof with some rafters. See how the roof going all the way across nestles right under those oddly shaped bay windows above and makes them fit in with the completely flat windows below? You can already see how the windows are going to make a lot more sense architecturally when the porch roof is completed.


For a sense of scale, here’s Bill, using his new stairs. He asked, “Do I deserve such a regal porch?” The answer is yes!

The new porch is the previously missing element that’s going to make this house’s architecture sing.

Published in: on September 25, 2014 at 1:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

More Renovation News

Here are some more pictures from the renovation.


Here’s the house with the porch stripped down to its essentials – no siding or skirting – preparatory to its being taken down all together.


Up close the rough boards that make up the core of the porch smell like a historic log cabin; old wood and time.


These stones were part of the infrastructure of the original porch and will be reused to clad the supporting piers for the new porch.

IMG_4811 IMG_4826 IMG_4848

They’re patching up the holes and filling in the gaps in the old siding left by various incursions over time, including insulation, rot, and removal.

IMG_4871 IMG_4874

Color is also starting to come into play. Due to the scraping, you can see old layers of paint on siding – buff – and trim – white.


And here’s someone’s opinion on either the new paint color or the entire process.

Published in: on September 15, 2014 at 1:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Open During Remodeling

Cathedral Hill B&B is proud to announce that we’re bringing the outside of our historic house back to its 1896 glory, complete with new porch and new paint. We’re very excited to have the outside of our B&B match its jewel box interior. The transformation should be completed before fall. 

Holly Ave, north side, c. 1900, tinted. From MN Historical Society Postman and children on Holly Ave, c.1890. From the MN Historical Society.

These are pictures of the north side of Holly Avenue around 1900. Our house is hidden in the trees on the left. As you can see, this has always been a well-to-do and quiet residential neighborhood.

The house was originally built by a banker and occupied by him and his family until sometime in the 1930’s. We speculate that the Depression ended the house’s tenure as a single-family dwelling.

488 Holly in c.1930s This picture of the house was taken in the late 1930’s or early 1940’s when it was a combination boarding (with meals)/rooming (without meals) house, as were many of the large Victorian houses in the neighborhood. We think this phase lasted from 1936-1971, through two owners, and was when the house was re-sided in a more modern fashion, and the original porch was replaced with a much smaller model. Both decisions were probably influenced by financial considerations.

The house changed hands again 1971, purchased this time by a commune, which called the building the Holly House. They did construction, worked at co-ops in the area, and did community work.

We bought the house in 1978 for our large family, and returned it to its origins as a single-family dwelling. It saw 7 children grow and leave, and the building of a number of thriving businesses. In 2003 it was reimagined into Cathedral Hill Bed & Breakfast.

488 Holly from the outside, C. 2003

Published in: on August 17, 2014 at 6:34 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , ,

Breakfast on the Patio? You bet!

Spring has sprung and it’s time to enjoy it at Cathedral Hill B&B! Let us treat you to breakfast outside, complete with freshly brewed coffee, fresh fruit, and a home cooked meal to start your day. These 70 degree sunshiny days won’t stick around forever, so we need to take advantage while we can! Visit our website for more information and call (651) 998-9882 to book your stay. We look forward to meeting you!


B&B patio

Published in: on May 23, 2014 at 4:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Nearby Como Park Lakeside Pavillion

Clue 8

Clue 8

If you are staying at Cathedral Hill Bed and Breakfast on July 10, 11, 16,17 or 18,  it might be a lot of fun to go the Como Park (about a ten minute drive from here) and go see The Music Man at the pavillion.  The tickets are only $10 and the outside venue is just delightful.

Published in: on July 7, 2009 at 9:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Blair Arcade and Common Good Books close to Cathedral Hill Bed and Breakfast

Architectural detail in Ramsey Hill

Architectural detail in Ramsey Hill


While taking a walk in Ramsey Hill, be sure to stop by Common Good Books.  First of all, it is located in Blair Arcade which is a venerable building in its own right.  Second, you can rest at Nina’s Cafe which is right above the book store.  Cafeopolis describes Nina’s and Blair Arcade if you want further opinions.

So, come stay at Cathedral Hill Bed and Breakfast and then take your Architectural Scavenger hunt and have a lot of fun!

Published in: on June 23, 2009 at 7:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Summit Avenue walking tour

Architectural detail Ramsey Hill

Architectural detail Ramsey Hill

There is a very nice walking tour of Summit Avenue which takes place on Saturdays and Sundays in the summmer.  It originates only blocks away from Cathedral Hill Bed and Breakfast.  Plan ahead and experience the neighborhood.  You might even see some of the scavenger hunt clues!

Published in: on June 18, 2009 at 1:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

New Yorker fiction story by Franzen about Ramsey Hill

Scavenger Hunt Clue 3

The June 8-15th issue of the New Yorker has a story whose setting is Ramsey Hill in the 1970s-80s.  The author is Jonathan Franzen.  There are a few references to place names in the neighborhood.  If you lived here in the 1970s and 1980s, you will have to judge for yourself if the activities and characters seem true to the area.

We are on the third clue for our Scavenger Hunt.  When 20 clues have posted, guests can go out and find the address of the architectural detail, and, if they can find 15 of them, they get 10% off their stay at Cathedral Hill Bed and Breakfast.

Published in: on June 15, 2009 at 8:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,