Photo: Mark Englund

By Nigel F. Maynard Most of the builders that architect Scott Mower works with prefer traditional styles and shun edgy design. That wasn't the case with the builder of the Summit Grotto Condominiums, however. Mower's firm did the working drawings, but builder Michael Lander conceived the initial design and had a clear picture of where he wanted the project to go. "Lander is a different breed," Mower says. "In a lot of our discussions, he was the one pushing the design envelope."

The result is a handsome seven-unit condominium project boasting two unit types in a historic area of St. Paul. Four attached flats reside in a single Craftsman-style mansion that blends with the scale and character of the other houses along Summit Avenue. Behind it are three, two-story townhomes that strike a more modern pose on Grotto Street.

Despite having to meet the district's strict guidelines, the project is not overly historical. Says Mower, "We tried to keep historical forms, but we used modern materials," which included fiber cement siding and veneer stone.

Category: Condominiums; Entrant/Builder/Developer: The Lander Group, Minneapolis; Architect: Progressive Architecture, St. Paul, Minn.

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