Longfellow Planbook

The Longfellow Planbook

The Longfellow Planbook, by Kristi Lee Johnson and Robert Gerloff, illustrates ways to remodel bungalows and other small houses to fit the needs of today without sacrificing the character found in homes built during the Arts and Crafts period. Updating in a historically-sensitive way has often been beyond the reach of bungalow owners. Between contractors used to throwing up pre-fab vinyl suburban structures, architects who were expensive and growing accustomed to designing huge edifices, and complicated and contrary code regulations, bungalow owners seemed faced by insurmountable odds.

That is what The Longfellow Planbook: Remodeling Plans for Bungalows and Other Small Urban Homes was designed to fix. A special project of the Longfellow Community Council, this 31-page book of plans uses the most commonly built bungalow floor plan as a jumping-off point for a series of historically sensitive remodeling plans.

Rather than use what he calls the “slash and burn” style of remodeling, planbook architect Robert Gerloff works within the existing structure as much as possible to create affordable remodeling ideas. For instance, in a plan where the kitchen is bumped out to provide an informal eating area and mud room, the rarely used dining room is turned into a family room with a couch, chairs and a mission-style television cabinet.

The book includes plans for expanding the kitchen, adding a mudroom and open back porch; turning the upstairs expansion space into a master bedroom with bath; refinishing the basement by adding a bedroom/office, laundry room and bath; installing a wood-burning fireplace in the living room; and adding a two-car garage with a covered pergola connection to the house. (And, a very important point to homeowners, the plans have been reviewed and approved by the Minneapolis Inspections Division.)

The Longfellow Planbook also explores the history of bungalow neighborhoods in the Twin Cities and offers a comprehensive resource list for owners of older homes.

To Get Your Own Copy

Copies of the Planbook are available from the Longfellow Community Council (LCC), 2727 26th Av S Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55406. The book costs $20. It can be picked up at the LCC office or mailed to you for $4.50 postage. Call the LCC office for further information: 612-722-4529.