About Us


  • Save and highlight historical elements.
  • Re-use materials when possible
  • Green building and efficiency in materials when possible
  • Rethink how spaces can be used.
  • Maximize storage. Minimize clutter.
  • Clean lines. Exposed metal and ductwork.
  • Modern fixtures and cabinets to contrast the 100+ year old industrial space.
  • Preserve the terra-cotta ceilings and brick interior.

About Us


Cory grew up in Maple Grove and learned woodworking and hard work from his father and grandpas. He has built his career on being a digital catalyst and uses this experience to help his clients grow their online businesses at Digitalives (digital agency) in St. Paul.

His claims to fame are making ESPN SportsCenter's Not Top Ten list for mascot racing in Red Bull’s Crashed Ice, VH1’s MotorMouth reality TV show and the Travel Channel’s Food Paradise MN State Fair episode.

Cory has a passion to explore and experience the world, both near and far. You will find him traveling overseas, at the lake, camping in the wilderness, skiing out West, white water rafting, mountain biking the local single-track, urban cycling to local breweries or working with his hands in his man-shed.

“The Railing Shop on 216-218 Bates needed some love and some new life in her old bones. We wanted to share the journey of bringing this old brick building back to life in the Historic Dayton’s Bluff Neighborhood in St. Paul, MN.” 

“It was creepy walking around with a cellphone flashlight,” he recalled. “It was a mess and needed lots of structural repairs — but I could see it becoming a home.”


Tia grew up in Greely, CO. As a transplant to Minnesota she hibernated her first winter and when she emerged in the spring she was set up on a blind date. This date would change both of their futures and move them out of the suburbs, into the city and on this crazy journey. She spends her days focused on spreadsheets and future financial planning for Cargill. Without her financial insight, attention to detail and trust, this project would still be in shambles.

“It was important to find a balance between the aesthetic of the existing character and up-to-date efficiency of a modern home.”


Owner and designer at Otogawa-Anschel Design+Build
Otogawa-Anschel is a small, award-winning design-build firm devoted to green building and urban living. We are committed to maintaining a high level of workmanship with special attention paid to the aesthetics involved in remodeling and adding to homes.

Our company works primarily in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area focusing on older homes. We go to great lengths to try and match the style and characteristics of the home to ensure that our additions look as if they were part of the original structure. Our interior spaces range from those that model after the style of the home, to more forward-looking, contemporary design.

Through all of this we also try to bring materials that are healthy and durable, more efficient building and mechanical systems, and smart eco-friendly design to each of our projects.

You as the homeowner place a great deal of trust and responsibility in our hands, and we feel it is our job to respectfully meet your expectations. Our goal is to work with the homeowners to create a home in which they will feel good about living. From small remodels to large additions, even new homes, we can create it.

“The inside was pretty awful, but it was a good-sized brick building, and the layout seemed conducive to the open floor plan Cory described. It’s such a unique and amazing space — it was worth the effort,” said Anschel. “It’s awesome to have folks like Cory and Tia make that kind of investment to transform a forgotten commercial property into their home.”



The Schornstein Garage at 216-218 Bates Avenue is comprised of two buildings; the two-story building was constructed in 1886 and the one-story section constructed in 1912. Both buildings were covered with aluminum siding. The carriage doors have been replaced with a sectional, overhead-opening garage door. The lower window of 216 is covered, and the upper windows currently have two-pane sliders with decorative shutters. 218 has two openings on the primary facade, both with decorative shutters; one fixed-pane window and one glazed paneled door. 218 also has a sectional overhead garage door on the north elevation. Per the inventory form, the buildings are categorized as non-contributing.

As evidenced in older photographs, 216 Bates Avenue was a two-story masonry load-bearing building with a flat roof behind a low parapet. Historically, the building had a brick exterior with two shallow, corbelled cornices and shallow corbelled brackets at each end. The two, second-story windows were double-hung, four-over-four, and the left (north) side first story window was a fixed four-light window with a two-light transom above. The windows have hidden lintels and rowlock sills. Double carriage doors occupy the right side first story opening. The doors were rail and stile, with diagonal bead-board panels. The left door had a secondary service door in it. The lower corners of the automotive entry had cast-iron, bullet-shaped corner protectors. The 218 Bates portion of the Schornstein Garage is a one-story brick building that was constructed for use as an automotive garage. The exterior is brick and appears to be whitewashed in older photographs. It had a simple, two-course corbelled cornice, and the one partially-visible window has a hidden lintel and a rowlock cornice. The historic fenestration is unknown.