Cozy cottage up for auction at Amberwing fundraiserA custom-built mini-cottage complete with an electric stove and matching doghouse is one of the centerpiece items at the annual fundraiser put on by the Miller-Dwan Foundation.
By: Christa Lawler, Duluth News Tribune
A custom-built mini-cottage complete with an electric stove and matching doghouse is one of the centerpiece items at the annual fundraiser put on by the Miller-Dwan Foundation.
The playhouse — or small cabin or writer’s haven or guest space — is a 20th-century Pasadena bungalow in the craftsman style with a gabled roof and wood shake shingles.
The bungalow is up for auction during ArtCetera, a fundraiser for Amberwing Center for Youth & Family Well-Being, an auction that includes other big-ticket items such as a 2012 Volkswagen Beetle, trip packages and fine art.
The black-tie event is Sept. 29 at the Harborside Ballroom at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Absentee bidding is allowed and can be arranged by calling the Miller-Dwan Foundation at (218) 786-5829.
The house is 12 feet tall, 12 feet wide and 8 feet deep, with built-in bunk beds, six large windows and smaller ones by the beds, and a sitting area next to the stove.
There are little touches: a ceiling fan, a door knocker, a smoke detector.
Thematically, the architects choose an idea that is in line with the concept of the newly opened Amberwing.
“This year was the craftsman style from the arts and crafts era,” said Tiersa Dodge, an intern at DSGW Architects. “The shelter of comfort. We felt that Amberwing, in the same way, is a safe haven.”
Rebecca Lewis, the architect who has overseen the playhouse project for the past three years, said planning for the event begins about a year in advance. It’s most important to create something that is buildable and easy to construct, she said, as well as make it both adult and kid-friendly.
“(We) play on the whimsy and the fun, but it’s also very functional,” Dodge said.
There are electrical outlets and a remote control electric stove.
Inside is a set of bunk beds, complete with blankets, an end table, a chair and an antique kilim rug.
It was built by Jerry Alander of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Shane Johnson of Johnson Wilson Constructors.
The interior design work was done by Kitchi Gammi Design Co., with furnishings from Slumberland Hayward.
This is the sixth year that a playhouse has been among the live auction items at ARTcetera. They typically go for between $15,000 and $25,000, according to Joanna Carlson of the Miller-Dwan Foundation, who helps organize the event.
The mini-cottage is now on display outside on the corner of 502 E. Second St. and has attracted plenty of attention from people who want to peep in its windows, Carlson said.