Three households and one business received Community Image Awards from Hopkins at the Nov. 21 council meeting. The annual awards honor residents and business owners whose pride shines through in their property through significant improvements to the exterior and superior maintenance, which contributes to a positive city image.

There are three categories: commercial/industrial/office, multi-family residential and single-family. Members of the public can nominate properties year-round before the August deadline for selection by a review committee. This year’s panel of judges consisted of one business owner, two residents and two city staffers, who looked over nine submissions. There is no limit to awards, but people who have won within the past 10 years will not be considered.

LTD Brewing Co. was chosen for its “major transformation,” which includes signage, patio seating area and garage door that “creates a cool, industrial vibe,” according to the judges’ comments. Blake Vernon and Jem Hale, owners and head brewers, accepted the award.

“While this award specifically acknowledges physical improvements to property, I think it’s also important to note LTD has become a great community partner, and really exemplifies the best of our business owners and adds social character to Hopkins, which is also equally as important,” said Kersten Elverum, the city’s planning and economic development director, who heads the initiative.

The single-family residents honored were Kelsey Essig and Brandon Freeman of 130 17th Ave. N., Diana Glasgow and Jeff Wyman of 426 Hiawatha Ave. and Diana Neidecker and Blake Ward of 10 Harrison Ave. N.

Essig and Freeman’s work on their façade and landscape prompted the judges to say it “looks like a whole new house.”

The judges were “wowed” by Glasgow and Wyman’s work on the façade design, new deck with an outdoor fireplace and maintenance of their mid-century home. The house was Glasgow’s childhood home, and she completely remodeled it after moving back into the home.

Neidecker and Ward moved in less than two years ago and have dramatically transformed their yard. They removed weeds by hand instead of with chemicals, planted bushes, flowers and vegetables, put a fresh bowl of water out for dogs on walks and brought bees, not to mention great hospitality, to the neighborhood, according to the nominator.

“It’s always fun to honor business and the wonderful homes,” said Mayor Molly Cummings. “The pride that you show and the investment that you make in the community that reflects on all of us, so it’s very much appreciated. Your properties are beautiful.”

Remodeling tips

Glasgow, an architect, offered tips for those who may wish to remodel a mid-century home:

1. Look at your current activities, and then think about what kinds of activities you see yourself doing in the future. You may want to create your space with your older self in mind.

2. Think outside the box and be flexible. Your perfect place may not be in your budget, but you could get enough of the things to give you a fresh outlook. Call it a win.

3. Don’t expect everything to go smoothly. There may be hiccups during the whole process, but don’t see it as a roadblock. Stay the course. Seeing the project complete is worth it.

Contact Sabina Badola at

I am a reporter for the Sun Sailor, covering Minnetonka, Excelsior, Shorewood, Tonka Bay, Deephaven, Greenwood, Woodland and the Hopkins School District.

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