I am retired Special Education Teacher and builder and Becky is manager at a local foundation. We are avid runners, bikers and skiers. I have biked all over the world and love biking here the best. We have lived here for decades and love Traverse City!
Bob Eichenlaub purchased this apartment in 2013
The ‘Rock Shop 2’ started 3 years ago when my wife and I were looking for a new home. We stumbled onto an old storefront with a house attached. The “Davidson Rock Shop” had been polishing Petoskey stones and selling them to tourists for over 50 years. The building was part of Traverse City’s original downtown and was built just after the Civil War. It sits across the street from the public beach on West Bay - an awesome location, just 2 blocks away from downtown.
We decided to tear down the commercial side and sell the small house to some friends. The design was particularly difficult due to the fact that the commercial infill lot that was left was 25’ wide and 117’ deep AND we needed a ‘one hour fire rated wall’ on the long sides. That means no windows on the long sides. A big challenge was bringing light into a ‘shotgun’ style house.
The other big design consideration was that I wanted to build the most energy efficient building in Traverse City. The building follows a German design standard called Passiv House. This design standard has four main criteria 1) Super-insulation 2) Very tight envelope 3) an Energy Recovery Ventilator to bring in fresh air and is 4)Solar heated.
I retired last June from teaching and started tearing down the old building the next day. The final design (I went through 4 major design changes) has a small apartment and a garage on the first floor. The second floor has the main living space and has a ‘clear story’ that goes up to the third floor and the decks, flooding the house with light. The floors and the domestic hot water are heated by the solar panels on the roof. Last week we got a courtesy call from DTE saying that we would not be getting a bill for the month of May because they do not send out bills less than $ 30.00.
We are so very happy with our new home, it is nothing short of amazing! It has turned out better than we expected. Look out your front window on one of the most pristine bays in the world!
CAUTION: A sign has gone up on the bank across the street. Apparently, a developer has purchased the building and is planning on razing the building and constructing condos in its place. We are not sure of his timeline, but he may start this summer (2015). Fortunately, we'll still keep our view, AND due to the fact that our house is super insulated; we don't think the noise should be a problem.