Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

No cookie-cutter apartment in Kasota October 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:13 AM
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ON THE FRIDAY AFTERNOON I met Joshua Colonna, he was working on a “honey-do” list. He and Melissa are expecting their first child in November and she wanted him to finish a few tasks. But that didn’t stop this hospitable young man from pausing in his home improvement projects to invite me and my husband inside the couple’s Kasota home.

And what a home. The pair live in an apartment in the 1898 former Kasota City Hall.



The 1898 Kasota City Hall, now a 5-unit apartment building.


An open front door initially drew me toward the corner brick building in the heart of this small river town. I loitered outside the old hall snapping exterior photos and contemplating shots of an interior construction zone.

But when I asked a workman if I could take pictures, he deferred to Joshua, who turned down my request. Just as quickly, though, Joshua offered us an impromptu tour of his apartment, apologizing that the place was a bit of a mess due to his in-progess projects.

To my absolute delight, I walked through a side door, up several steps and onto a stage-turned-kitchen. As corny as this sounds, how cool is that? I just stood there for a minute on the old hardwood floor, totally awed that someone would have an apartment as dramatically-inspiring as this one.



The stage area has been transformed into a kitchen.


With a beadboard ceiling, decorative painted metal framing the stage, and antique furniture mixed with modern, the stage is set for a classy, airy apartment with a vintage feel. This place possesses flair, pizzazz and drama.



Original decorative trim surrounds the stage which features a beadboard ceiling.



All the world's a stage, or in this case the stage is a kitchen. Here's Joshua on stage.


And that’s exactly why Joshua, who owns this apartment unit, says, “This building fills up fast. Everybody likes the feel of it, the old 1800s feel. It’s not just your cookie-cutter place.”

I can see why someone, anyone, would want to live here. What fun to have get-togethers here, mingling on the kitchen/stage and in the audience area below, now partitioned into a living room, two bedrooms and a bathroom in this apartment. And then the real kicker, on the side stage extension that veers into a corner of the living room rests Melissa’s piano, perfect for entertaining.



A stage bump-out presents the perfect place for a piano.



The stage looks onto the revamped audience seating area which has been partitioned into a living room, two bedrooms and a bathroom. Only the bathroom has a separate, lowered ceiling over it.


Joshua knew I was more than a bit impressed with his apartment given how I openly gushed over it. But then he had to go and tell me about the upstairs apartment, the bright open space where an artist lives, and about another old building he’ll be refurbishing into apartments in a nearby community…



One last angle of that dramatic, inspiring kitchen.


© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


10 Responses to “No cookie-cutter apartment in Kasota”

  1. Bernie (Rohlik) Bowman Says:

    How stinkin cute!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:


      I agree, 100 percent. This would be such a “fun” place to live. Imagine if you were into theater or if you were a musician or…

  2. Dawn Tietz Says:

    I agree!! Cute, but just imagine the size of the gate you would need as that new baby starts toddling around!!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I thought of the baby safety issue, too. Joshua planned to install some sort of gate, if he and Melissa are still there when the baby reaches the crawling stage. They may, though, move into another building that he will be renovating, he said.

  3. Kristin Says:

    Gorgeous! It makes me want to move. Though, that’s definitely not within commuting distance to my job. 🙂

    The baby gate’s the first thing I thought of, too.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Yeah, it would be a little tough to commute from D.C., unless, of course, you commuted like every other week or once a month or something like that. I met a guy this summer who commutes from California to LeCenter, Minnesota (not too far from Kasota) back and forth every two weeks.

      Good to know, too, that we’ve all thought of that baby.

  4. JC Eberhart Says:

    I cannot tell you how much it meant to me to be able to view these photos. The last time I was inside the Kasota Town Hall I was ten years old. A “Miss Kasota” Pageant was being held there and Denise Bean was crowned (the only Miss Kasota to ever be crowned if I’m not mistaken!) Hope you’ll check-out my article, “My Heart Still Lives There” which should be published tomorrow in AmericanTowns.com/KasotaMN. I’m also going to place it in my WordPress Blog at: http://www.jceberhart.wordpress.com (my Pen Name is JC Eberhart!)
    Thank you again! ~Jeanie Cooke-Fredlund

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Kasota is an interesting community, that’s for sure. It’s been a few years since I wrote this post, but I was delighted to discover that unique apartment in the historic building.

  5. Jeanie Cooke-Fredlund Says:

    This was not the City Hall, it is the Kasota VILLAGE Hall!

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