The Origins of Architectural Harmony™

Telstad Residence

When this client first approached us, they were residing in a gorgeous architectural creation from 1932 which they had purchased from the original owner in 1984. The Telstad Residence was built by Merman & Skogstad Architects in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright. They had fallen in love with the warmth, materials and craftsmanship of their home and came to us with the hopes that we could finish one piece that had never been completed from the 1926 specifications: the garage door. As custom garage door builders, this was our strength: building custom wood garage doors. However, something was unique about this project and we couldn't quite put our finger on it until we were knee-deep in the design and engineering of the Telstad doors (which started and completed in 1998).

Our goal with this project was to build the garage doors according to the original blueprints and echo a consistent, harmonic design into and throughout the design of the garage doors. Even the interior of the home reverberates with architectural elements including arched doorways, Biesanz fireplaces, original light fixtures and symmetries that are decidedly attractive and able to withstand the test of time. The completed garage doors embraced even the smallest architectural details from inside and outside the home to offer a seamless, harmonious presentation and this moment is when we truly understood and coined the term Architectural Harmony™. All parts of a home should involve and engage each other in seamless presentation.

In 2017, we visited the Telstad residence to check on this quintessential architectural beauty and to see how their wood garage doors are holding up nearly twenty years later. The Telstad's chose not to finish the interior of their garage door (something we do recommend) and back in 1988 we didn't wet glaze lites (something we now do as we've become masters of moisture management). In spite of it all, through wind, rain, and Minnesota winters, these doors are as beautiful and intact as the day we installed them in 1988 and have been an inspiration for dozens of home since.

I am only in this house for a moment in history - it’s in my care for a short moment of time. Why wouldn’t I do the right thing by this house? The garage takes up a large visual area of the front of the house, so it is important for it to add to the house. Not take away.
— Mr. LeRoy Telstad
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