In their backyard, under a grand canopy of old oak trees, spouses Miranda Joseph and Erin Durban come upon a turkey feather. Durban plucks it from the grass, holds it in the air.
“A good one,” Durban declares, bigger than those they’d collected in a jar upstairs.
The couple love that their backyard — which blends into their neighbors’ backyards — is frequented by turkeys, by deer, by the neighborhood’s children.
On occasion, architecture buffs stop by, too.
The two professors live in University Grove, a collection of 103 architect-designed houses tucked into Falcon Heights, not far from the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul Campus. In 1928, U vice president William Middlebrook set aside the slice of rolling landscape, arguing that the neighborhood could help recruit star faculty members and administrators.
Custom-built through the late 1960s, along curved streets and without fences, the houses differ in style and era.