MSP Home Tour to hit U neighborhoods

Alliance hopes to highlight the benefits of living close to campus.

It takes Jan Morse five minutes to bike to her job at the University of Minnesota. The University District Partnership Alliance is hoping that others will take note. The Minneapolis and St. Paul Home Tour will be featuring five homes from the neighborhoods surrounding the University this weekend, in an effort to promote school faculty living near their work. Morse, director of the UniversityâÄôs student conflict resolution center, knew the Alliance was trying to promote University faculty living close to campus. In addition, her home in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood fits the bill for the home tour because of its history and the fact that itâÄôs been remodeled. Morse sees the value in living close to work because it takes her three minutes to drive, five to bike and 15 to walk. âÄúThatâÄôs time I donâÄôt need to spend in a gym exercising,âÄù Morse said. âÄúI have time to do other things that I enjoy doing because I do not enjoy sitting in a car. I donâÄôt have the temperament for sitting in traffic, I just donâÄôt.âÄù Jan Morlock, director of University Relations and member of the Alliance, said this is a unique opportunity for the neighborhoods around the University. âÄúHomes in these neighborhoods are occasionally featured, but this is the first time that we have such a coordinated effort to really showcase great places to live that are right close to campus,âÄù Morlock said. There are two homes in Marcy-Holmes being featured along with two in the Como neighborhood and one in Prospect Park . Though none of the homes are being targeted toward students, applied economics and history sophomore Matt Laue is one of several students helping coordinate the tour. Laue has been helping to prepare one of the Como homes for the tour. The house, located on 16th Avenue, was purchased by the Alliance with plans of renovating it and selling it to an owner-occupant. Laue, a member of the Triangle fraternity located in Marcy-Holmes, feels the neighborhood would be well served to add more owner-occupants. âÄúItâÄôs good to have permanent residents in the neighborhood because that helps to drive up property values, which makes all the properties worth more,âÄù he said. âÄúHomeowners create kind of a stable community in the neighborhood because most students only live here for a couple of years.âÄù Tour coordinator Margo Ashmore said homes in the University district rarely become available and when they do, they donâÄôt stay on the market long. Morse said she has noticed that some homes in her neighborhood get purchased before they hit the market. Ashmore said the homes being featured in the tour are ones that have recently been remodeled âÄî many of which were remodeled to be eco-friendly âÄî along with homes with a historical significance. One would be hard pressed to find a home with more University history than the one Morse has lived in for almost 17 years. John Tate, for whom the Tate Lab of Physics was named, lived there more than half a century ago. The house was designed by Frederick Mann, who was the head of the UniversityâÄôs school of architecture from 1913 to 1936 .