abbie frank

owner + designer

abbie is bluestem hall's fearless leader. growing up she visited her grandpa's farm regularly and every time found herself lost in "the shed." pouring over the antique trucks AND TRACTORS, TAPPING INTO THE FORGOTTEN TREASURES AND STORIES OF FAMILY LONG GONE. she remembers studying the structure AND GENTLE MAGNITUDE OF THE SPACE and even as a child recognized this building was undoubtedly sacred. 

she went on to become a sculptor and a painter but always came back to the quiet strength of the shed as a source of inspiration. she even wrote her essay to get into grad school about what it was like to be inside the old building. AS A CHILD, trying to outrun the wind sweeping across the prairie on a warm day and how it always seemed to  pick her up and scoot her right into the shed. how being inside felt both safe and dangerous but it was that type of conversation that she loved and can be found exclusively with old buildings. 

abbie went to grad school at  pratt institute in brooklyn, ny where she studied how to work with old buildingS and got the education to design bluestem hall. hOW IT IS A DELICATE BALANCE OF REVERED CURIOSITY AND PRACTICAL RESTORATION TO HOLD THE HAND OF HISTORY. sHE TRIED OTHER JOBS BUT AFTER A CORPORATE DESIGN POSITION TOOK A PIECE OF HER SOUL (NOT TO BE DRAMATIC OR ANYTHING!), SHE knew IT WAS TIME AND SHE HAD NOTHING TO LOSE. IN MARCH 2016, ABBIE, HER husband TIM, AND THEIR CAT WILBUR MOVED TO HER MAMA'S FARMHOUSE AND BEGAN BLUESTEM HALL. AFTER  A YEAR OF RE-ZONING, 8 MONTHS OF CONSTRUCTION, 2 NEW DOGS, AND MANY NEW FRIENDS, creating bluestem hall has been a labor of love and in many ways she feels she has just finished the project her grandpa started so many years ago.

Tim Voelker

Owner + designer

TIM DIDN'T QUITE KNOW WHAT HE GOT HIMSELF INTO WHEN HE MET ABBIE. BEING AN EXCEPTIONALLY ADAPTABLE MAN, TIM AND ABBIE LEFT THEIR TINY BROOKLYN APARTMENT FOR 120 ACRES in Illinois. NOW AN HONORARY COUNTRY BOY, HIS EAST COAST ROOTS STILL SHOW SOMETIMES (AHEM...PIZZA SNOB). A CONSTANT CHEERLEADER, TIM'S ROLE IN BLUESTEM hall RUNS TRUE AND DEEP.  HE HAS BEEN THERE FOR  EVERY STEP SAYING YES TO ANY TASK AT HAND  (EVEN THE dirtiest jobs IN THE BEGINNING!) an industrial and furniture designer by trade, HIS HANDIWORK AND HARD WORK ARE SEEPED INTO THE HEART OF THE BUILDING FOREVER.

Tim is the backbone of your big day. He can be found inside bluestem hall from sun up to sun down doing behind the scenes work to make every single detail perfect (seriously not a misplaced rock can get past him!) no task is too big or too small  and he is the most exceptional host by nature, greeting everyone with a smile and handshake! Do not be surprised if you see him darting around in our trademark bluestem hall staff apron taking care of your guests, checking on your vendors, or bidding the couple farewell at the end with a great big hug. Tim really is the true mvp of every event!

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professional images on this page by emma loren photography and anna longworth photography

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