Against the spare beauty of Grand Marais harbor in northern Minnesota nestles a cluster of brilliantly colored buildings. The historic timber-frame structures hum with activity—boat building or woodcarving, basket weaving or fiber arts. In the central courtyard, noise rings out from a blacksmith’s shop, while an outdoor masonry oven scents the air with the yield of an artisanal bread-baking class. This is the North House Folk School.
Kristi Johnson couldn’t believe her eyes when she read what neighbors had to say about the cozy bungalows in her corner of Minneapolis. Like residents of some 50 other areas in the city, they had developed a Neighborhood Revitalization Plan to identify strengths and shortcomings.