At least that was the idea behind "Updating
Classic America Bungalows," a book in a series by Taunton
The heavily illustrated work featuring 27 homes around the country was
written by Shorewoodians Caren Connolly and Louis Wasserman. There are
180 images in the 216-page
volume, which sells for $29.95.
Connolly is a landscape architect and her husband is
an architect. For the past ten years, their firm (Louis )
Wasserman & Associates has worked out of an office in the old
Fortress Building in Brewers Hill, at 1726 N. 1st St. Their small
studio practice designs residential space, as well as historic
renovations and offices. The two also do master project planning with
a current emphasis on educational plan.
Bungalows, especially those in Milwaukee, were noted
for their craftsmanship, Connolly pointed out. Built mostly between
1919 and 1940, the small houses highlight woodworking, stained glass,
plus other design amenities. "They were not afraid to build small
in those days. There was no wasted space," she pointed out.
"It was a nice, simple style. These houses today are perfect for
In one of the design magazines it publishes, Taunton
put out a call for bungalows with the potential to be included in the
book. The story was to cover renovations, as well as new home
construction. The firm then sent Connolly and Wasserman a box of
examples it received from the solicitation. From there, they winnowed
down the selection to the finalists and added some stellar examples by
The project then took two-and-a-half years to
complete, from the time the featured houses were selected to the
The couple worked closely with Rob Karosis, a New Hampshire-based
landscape photographer. "Thank heavens for computer and
e-mails," Connolly said of the widely spread-out publishing
operations. Their editor was in Pennsylvania, the publishing firm was
based in Connecticut and their subjects stretched from coast to coast.
Connolly and her husband shared the writing duties.
"It was a very collaborative effort. But weve been working
together like this since we were 19, Connolly continued. "We
would describe how to do something in the house, such as dealing with
ventilation and how to repair wood floors after tile was
removed," Connolly indicated. Wasserman prepared most of the
sidebars and all of the illustration cutline, while his wife assembled
the main first draft.
Wasserman and Caren Connolly
"We met so many interesting people on this
project. It was great fun," Connolly said.
Among the homeowners were writers, lawyers and
The Wauwatosa home of Todd Badovski and Allyson
Nemec is one of the bungalows highlighted in the volume. Nemec is an
architect at Quorum Architects, while her husband is vice president of
Cream City Construction. That firm specializes in residential
remodeling throughout the Northshore and Brookfield. The couples met
through mutual acquaintances and immediately shared their love of
Their house in Washington Heights was built in 1922,
according to Badovski who purchased the property in 1996 as the
buildings third owner. After moving in, it took them only a couple
of days to begin dreaming of what eventually they could do on the
interior to better conform to their contemporary lifestyle. Retaining
the structures exterior integrity, Badovski and Nemec built a back
deck, enlarged the kitchen and gutted the second floor, among other
improvements that included creating a master suite. The project took
about a year.
"It worked out well. I did a preliminary plan
and Al (Allyson) added some design elements. We combined our
ideas," Badovski said, adding that the work wasnt difficult.
"After all, thats what we do for our living."
The photography in their home was done on a date
they will never forget: Sept. 11, 2001. "We were at work and the
kids were in day care so the photographer could spend a couple of days
on the job, despite what was happening on the East Coast,"
While he and Nemec may eventually be looking for a
larger home as their two boys grow up, they "definitely are not
tired of this home," he said.