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Home of the Month: August

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    • the Star Tribune showcases the Crane Island Cabin as their August Home of the Month Award-winner
    • Blog Post

      As one of 12 homes selected as an AIA Minnesota/Star Tribune Home of the Month Award-winner, a MS&R-designed summer cottage on historic Crane Island was recently featured in the August Home and Garden section.


      “On an island where time stands still, a local couple built a new lake home in keeping with the unique, closely knit community.

      Paul and Mary Reyelts were introduced to tiny Crane Island and its bucolic setting years ago, when they would hop a boat and spend the day at their friends’ century-old yellow cottage. ‘We never wanted to leave,’ said Mary.

      There, they discovered a unique, close-knit community of 14 cottages dotting the perimeter of the densely wooded island on Lake Minnetonka’s Upper Lake.

      Even though it’s only a 30-minute drive from downtown Minneapolis, the island is very much like it was when local businessman Charles Woodward founded it in 1906: a rustic summer getaway.

      There are no cars, limited TV reception and no grocery store. Many of the cabins have been passed down from generation to generation. And it’s still just a summer sojourn. Residents close up on Nov. 1 each year when the water is turned off.

      In 2010, a piece of Crane Island went on the market and ‘we jumped on it,’ said Paul. ‘The island is such a lovely spot and it’s close and accessible. And because it’s a historic island, it couldn’t be turned into McMansions.’

      Paul had just retired and Mary, who had grown up going to a family cabin in western Minnesota, said she ‘always wanted to be on water.’

      The Reyeltses were on their way to becoming true Crane Islanders.

      Their new lot, which was populated with pines and Kentucky coffee trees, sloped down to 160 feet of Lake Minnetonka shoreline. Though there was still a turn-of-the-century cabin, it was so dilapidated that it had to be demolished.

      The Reyeltses enlisted a friend, architect Tom Meyer of MS&R in Minneapolis, to help them design a new summer home that wouldn’t stand out among the neighboring cottages, but would incorporate green materials, expanses of glass for lake views and a modern floor plan.”

      Read more of the full article by Lynn Underwood at Star Tribune.com.

    • About the Author

      Thomas Meyer

      • Architect / Principal
      • thomas@msrdesign.com
      • 612 359 3222
      • View Bio