Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Charlie Nelson, historical architect, dies
Charlie Nelson, an architect with the Minnesota Historical Society, died of cancer on Jan. 20. He was 61. "When we lost Charlie Nelson, we lost wisdom and knowledge that ... is an enormous loss for the entire state. He was a rare blend. He knew buildings, he knew people," said Nina Archabal, MHS executive director. An obituary in the St. Paul Pioneer Press notes Nelson's gift for compromise. The Star Tribune's obituary recalls Nelson's statewide survey of historic buildings and his passion for log cabin renovation. On a personal note, I met Charlie Nelson about a decade ago while working on the Minneapolis/St. Paul Home Tour. Nelson's lovely --- and historically accurate Old Highland neighborhood home --- was a highlight on that year's tour. The kitchen wasn't modernized; it included an ancient black oven that gave the place a real sense of place.

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