Archive for the ‘For Sale’ Category

The Schneider Tavern in Frontenac

Saturday, September 16th, 2017
The Schneider Tavern at 28971 Wood Avenue, Frontenac, MN

28971 Wood Avenue, Frontenac

Built in 1862 by Engelbert Haller and Kasper Koch, this lovely Greek Revival building was originally built to operate as a general store and served as the township’s stagecoach stop; however, two years after completion it was sold to Jacob Schneider who used it as a tavern and hotel. The tavern and store were located on the main floor (now the living room and office), with simple accommodations to rent upstairs. A separate entrance on the side of the home was used so guests could access the rented rooms and store without passing through the tavern, and is the reason why the main staircase is located behind the front rooms and not at the front of the home (like residential homes of the era). The Schneider Tavern was in operation until 1887 when it was sold to the son of Evert Westervelt.

Evert Westervelt arrived to the area from Pennsylvania in 1852 and is the founder of the small town of Frontenac, originally named Westervelt. Having opened a local limestone quarry of dolomite shortly after his arrival (which supplied all the local limestone foundations, walls, and tombstones), he purchased a total of 320 acres of land as the site of his new town and began the process of plotting streets and lots to sell to future settlers. In 1859, the town was renamed Frontenac in honor of Louis de Buade de Frontenac, governor general of Canada between 1670-1698. (Minnesota did not become a state until 1858).

The home stayed in the Westervelt family until it was purchased in 1982 by a couple who began the restoration process and opened the home as a bed and breakfast. In 1999, the current owner purchased the home, and over a decade, restored and updated the home further, including the restoration of the front porch. Using old photos, the owner was able to recreate the original design and trim detail.

Photo of the home pre-bay window on the side of the home.

Old photos of historic homes are extremely useful for restoration efforts and determining what architectural elements were original or added in later decades. For instance, the Schneider Tavern, was not originally built with a bay window on the southern side of the home, to the left of the porch. It was added later, sometime after 1891, when Westervelt purchased the home and used it as a private residence (we can surmise that the above photo was taken after 1891 simply because that was the year the American company of Anchor Post and Fence bought the patent rights to the chain link fence from a United Kingdom company and began production in the United States). From what I have read in a book about Frontenac, there is a question on whether the Moorish attic windows were added later, but looking at old photos and the design of the home, it appears they are original to the structure. Other questions have been asked about the decorative gable trim (if it was added by more recent owners), but again, old photos show the gable trim and porch brackets date to at least pre-1887.

Schneider Tavern pre-rear porch enclosure, but after bay window addition

This home is currently “pending” for sale. Additional information, photos, and an interactive 3-D tour can be viewed at the property website.

 

Original limestone horse hitching post that was quarried from Westervelt's local limestone quarry.
Original limestone stagecoach steps that were quarried from Westervelt's local limestone quarry.
An original small horse barn on the property
Up close photo of the Moorish attic windows and decorative gable trim.

The Wadsworth Williams Tudor Revival Home in Minneapolis

Monday, June 19th, 2017
Wadsworth Williams Home in Minneapolis

1314 Mount Curve Avenue, Minneapolis

Designed by architect William Kenyon for Wadsworth and Ida Williams in 1931, the home has known only three owners durings its life. Mr. Williams was born in 1875 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, moving to Minnesota in the late 1890’s to attend Carleton College in Northfield, graduating in 1900. At the time, Carleton College did not offer specific degrees, thus Wadsworth graduated with a study in Classics. (He later served on Carleton’s Board of Trustees from 1937-1959, and in the early 1960’s his widow, Mrs. Ida Bourne Williams, made a gift to Carleton for the creation of a Chair in Economics as a “perpetual memory” to her husband – the Wadsworth A. Williams Professor of Economics.) Fifteen years after graduation, at the onset of World War I, Williams was a working as a clerk for the banking and investment firm Wells & Dickey Company. Decades later he had worked his way up to become Vice President of the company. According to a descendant of the family, the “home was built during the depression to create jobs for people who could both learn and build a beautiful, highly crafted home to lift everyone’s spirits at a time of great struggle”.

1314 Mount Curve Avenue, Minneapolis MN Bargeboard Decoration

Decorative Bargeboard

What they created was a fantastic example of the Tudor Revival style in stone, stucco, and half-timbered design and clearly showcases the excellent craftsmanship of the era. Original exterior architectural details abound, adding a story book element to the home: medieval styled arched entry door, copper gutters with fine details of acorns and hearts, decorative bargeboards, ornamental gables, and leaded glass casement windows. It is the perfect home for a historical minded buyer who appreciates the fine details this home has to offer.

The home is currently For Sale and additional photos of the home can be viewed at the property website.

Here are some photos of the decorative features of the home, inside and out:

Wood’s Hilltop Home on Lake Washington

Friday, August 28th, 2015
Wood's Hilltop Beach House

4414 Washington Blvd, Madison Lake

High up on a hill overlooking Lake Washington, not far from Mankato, Minnesota, a beautiful resort hotel called the Belvedere was opened to the public sometime between 1898 and 1900. It was built by Louis A. Linder, a well known businessman from Mankato. The summer hotel quickly became a vacation magnet and popular spot for honeymooners, with wealthy patrons coming from as far away as Chicago. It wasn’t an easy hotel to visit in the early 1900’s. Guests first arrived in the town of Mankato by train, after which they traveled by horse and buggy to Connors’ Farm, just across the lake from the hotel. The last leg of their trip was taken by ferry. One year in a bad storm the ferry sank, but the hotel patrons all survived. The ferry still sits on the bottom of this deep lake today.

Belvedere Hotel Lake Washington
It was on a honeymoon stay at the hotel that led William and Inez Wood to purchase the building in 1921 as their summer home. They had an idea to establish a beach resort at the bottom of the hill along the lake’s shoreline. With the help of their six children, Wood’s Beach became a spectacular beach resort and picnic grounds that attracted weekend visitors from over four counties for more than thirty years. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, the five Wood sons and their father constructed an amazing array of water attractions to please and entertain every member of the family: a very high slide, a lower slide, a water wheel, diving docks, rolling barrels, and rafts. It was a big operation that rented boats and canoes, and even bathing suits. Many people at that time did not own bathing suits, so they paid ten cents to rent a scratchy woolen one, changing in a special beach house on the shores of the lake. The Beach closed down in 1948 and pieces of the original property were slowly sold off. Today, the main house remains with 300 feet of shoreline and stunning views of the lake and sunsets.

The money earned from summer rentals paid for the college education of all six Wood’s children, all of them obtaining higher degrees and having very successful careers.

Wood's Hilltop ChildrenBelow is just a few snippets of their lives:

Delbert L. “Buck” Wood graduated from the St. Paul College of Law. He worked for the FBI for six years during which he headed up investigations of the Capone
Gang and other Mafia organizations. J. Edgar Hoover awarded him three commendations for his outstanding work in the Bureau.

Harland Goff Wood attained international fame in biochemical research. His revolutionary discovery early in his career in 1935 that not only plants, but also animals and humans utilize carbon dioxide for metabolic processes (“CO2 fixation”), resulted in him being nominated twice for the Nobel Prize. Harland also served on the President’s Scientific Advisory Commission under both Presidents Johnson and Nixon.

After graduating from Macalaster College in St. Paul, Louise Wood worked with the National Red Cross in Europe during World War II. Based in London, she directed the USO operations for the American Red Cross for the entire European Theater of Operations. For her efforts and accomplishments in the Red Cross, President Truman awarded her the Medal of Freedom.

Earl H. Wood was internationally celebrated in both cardiology and aerospace medicine. During WWII he was a key figure in the top-secret research at Mayo to develop an anti-gravity “G” suit, and perfected the centrifuge, as well as developed the “M-1” straining/ expiration maneuver to assist pilots in maintaining consciousness when pulling high G’s.

The home is currently For Sale with additional information at the property website.Used seasonally as a summer residence, the home is perfect for year round use or potential B&B, and needs updating. This historic property is looking for a preservation minded buyer who will restore the home and love it as much as the Wood’s family has for the last 94 years.

The Historic Thompson House in Barnesville

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Located in the small town of Barnesville on the western fringe of Minnesota, and just 30 miles from Fargo, lies a beautiful historic home on almost 5 acres of land. Built in 1903 for Peter and Hannah Thompson, the home was designed by the Hancock Brothers, one of North Dakota’s most prominent architectural firms. It is historically significant as the only surviving property in Barnesville associated with the Thompson family, commonly known as the “founders” of Barnesville, and is locally a rare example of the Classical Revival style (also known as Neoclassical), not to mention one of the last remaining homes designed by the Hancock Brothers in Minnesota. Remnants of the original carriage house foundation can still be found behind the home.

The Thompson House Barnesville, MN

361 2nd Street NE, Barnesville, MN

Peter E. Thompson was a mercantile store clerk for George Barnes in 1878, a businessman who opened the first grain collection center years before 7 miles outside of present day Barnesville. By 1880, Thompson owned the store and it quickly became the core of the settlement of Barnesville. As Barnesville grew, Peter Thompson emerged as a prominent leader. He served as the first postmaster from 1878 to 1885 and was elected the first justice in 1881. In 1889 he became the first Mayor and in 1891, Thompson was elected to the Minnesota legislature and served two terms. Needless to say, he made a lot of “firsts” for Barnesville.

Sadly, two years after moving into their new home, Peter died at the age of 52. Hannah lived at the home until her death in 1920. They had seven children and were known to be very generous, often taking employees or ministers and their families into their home. They also donated real estate for the first school, a local park, and two churches. Two of the Thompson boys owned the home following Hannah’s death, the last living there until 1975.

361 2nd Street NE Interior

Fireplace and Staircase

The current owners have been renovating the home and property for several years. Most of the first floor woodwork has been restored, a painstaking process of stripping, sanding, and re-staining the floors, decorative trim, doors, and elaborate staircase.  The original dumbwaiter is still present, and there is a small ladder in the attic leading to the widow’s walk. For the kid in all of us, the third story bedrooms feature small doors and windows leading to “secret passages” between each room.

The home is currently For Sale with additional information located at the property website.

In 1996, the home was added to the National Registry of Historic Places. The photos below are from the 1993 application and show how the home looked when it still had the second floor balustrade and roof widow’s walk balustrade. 

 
 
 

The Donaldson Mansion in Minneapolis

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
Historic Donaldson House
1712 Mount Curve Avenue, Minneapolis

Nestled on top of Lowry Hill in Minneapolis is a beautiful home like none other.Built in 1906, this stunning home was designed for Lawrence Donaldson, who with his brother William, founded the Donaldson Department Store in Minneapolis. The architectural firm of Kees and Colburn was commissioned to design the family’s residence, known for a number of major works in Minneapolis including the Grain Exchange Building, Donaldson’s Office Building, and the Charles H. Harrington Mansion. They later designed the Loring Theater, the Ford Centre, and The Lowry, to name a few.

Constructed mainly of brick, the home is exquisitely detailed with a mixture of several design styles, the most prevalent being Arts & Crafts and Beaux Arts. Subtle design elements throughout the home, linked to Mr. Donaldson’s Scottish heritage, feature the thistle. Probably the most identifiable symbol of all things Scottish, the flower can be found on the facade of the house, the entry columns, above the entry door, on the chimneys, in the living room Tiffany window, and more!

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John Bradstreet Sun Parlor

 
Completed sometime in 1907, additional modifications to the home began in 1908 by expanding the north side – a dining room and a second floor bedroom were enlarged, a sleeping porch was added, and the screened-in porch became an enclosed sun room. The Donaldson’s also hired well known designer John Bradstreet to create a Japanese inspired Sun Parlor, as well as design the Reception Room/Study off the main foyer. In 1916, the carriage house was completed with four large carriage stalls, a second floor apartment, a number of work rooms, and a connecting tunnel.

As happened to many large properties in the Twin Cities as time moved on, the estate was subdivided into six separate lots in 1959 when it was sold by the Donaldson family. After the passing of many decades and multiple owners, the main house was bought by the current owners in 2000, who later that year acquired the original northwest hillside lot extending down to Kenwood Parkway, and in 2001 the carriage house. With three of the six lots reunited, the land totals just over an acre, or 44,792 square feet, representing one of the largest residential properties in Minneapolis.

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John Bradstreet Study

 
This historic home is also For Sale: www.1712MountCurveAvenue.com. Thankfully the new owners had a vision of restoring the home back to its former splendor. Over the last decade, with love and dedication, some of the highest quality craftsman and artisans were employed to bring the home back to life, while incorporating state of the art technology and modern conveniences for today’s busy lifestyle.

My Feature in the Star Tribune

Friday, September 28th, 2012
302 Fremont Avenue, Anoka
302 Fremont Avenue, Anoka
It’s always nice to get a call to speak about the importance of historic home preservation. It rarely happens to be a feature article in a major local newspaper, so you can imagine my surprise when just that happened. The Star Tribune gave me a call about the Shaw-Hammons House in Anoka, pictured above, whose owner informed them of my historic home specialty in real estate. They wanted to know about concerns in preservation and saving endangered properties from demolition, and I was happy to let them know my thoughts on the matter.

This old Anoka house gets new lease on life, but others slip into history

Article by: Paul Levy , Star Tribune

Built in 1852 and owned by Minnesota’s first senator, the historic house in Anoka was in shambles. Junk cluttered the yard. Wiring had been ripped away. Rooms were coated in dust, gutted and vandalized. Even the bathtub was missing.The home was simultaneously listed on the National Register of Historic Places and Minnesota’s Ten Most Endangered Properties list. But today, after a renovation that took three years and more than $100,000, it is the oldest home in Minnesota on the market. Historic-homes experts call it a “miracle.”

With few preservation programs available, it’s also a rarity. Indifference from city officials, minimal grant aid and foreclosures have placed the futures of some of Minnesota’s most prized historic homes in jeopardy.

“It can take more than a century to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places and only a few minutes for that same house to be bulldozed,” said Realtor Jennifer Kirby, creator of the “Historic Homes of Minnesota” blog. 

Read more from the article…

 

Foreclosure in St. Paul at a Great Price – SOLD

Monday, April 2nd, 2012
569 Marshall Avenue, St. Paul

One of my favorite looking Victorian homes has gone on the market as a foreclosure in St. Paul, marketed by Tangletown Realty for $329,000. At that price, the home is sure not to last long! If you would like to view this home, please let me know.

the Julius F. Young House in Owatonna

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012
111 University St. W, Owatonna

Built in 1898, this lovely Victorian home was built by Julius Frederick Young, a local jeweler and businessman in Owatonna, MN. It is in fact built on the land purchased by Mr. Young and platted into a small subdivision (known as JF Young) in 1896, giving him the opportunity to pick the best lot. Christened “Terrace Hill” by the family, the home sits high on the lot and still retains the original carriage house, now used as a two car garage.

Sometime after 1908, the front facade of the home, which faced Cedar Avenue, was changed to face University. The front door was relocated and the original staircase was removed to make a main floor office and new bedroom for the second floor. (What a loss!) A new staircase was placed inside the main level turret and a bathroom was created out of the second floor turret. I was able to obtain a photo of the home circa 1908 which shows the original look of the front exterior and location of the front door and windows.

Comparing the two photos, you can see that several windows have been removed or enclosed and that the stone porch foundation has been altered. I can only imagine how grand the main staircase was, or what the turret rooms were used for. I would have to guess that the main level turret room was the receiving parlor or office, as it has huge pocket doors into the main living room. Below is the same view of the current east facade.

Notice the three season porch off to the left of the home. This was originally the porte cochere and enclosed at some time. The carriages would pick up passengers here, then wind around to the front of the home on the path above the boulders. This is simply an amazing property!
The home is currently listed for sale for $169,900. Please visit the property website for additional photos.

Summit Aveneue Home For Sale – SOLD

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

A beautiful home on Summit Avenue in St. Paul went on the market with Edina Realty and has been reduced to $579,900, 265 Summit Avenue. I wrote a post about the history of the home back in May 2010. The current owners purchased the home for $800,000 in December 2007, and it was in need of a new kitchen and bathrooms. It appears it still is in need of those repairs.

If you are interested in more information, please let me know.

Lake Nokomis Colonial Revival in Minneapolis

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011
2709 E 50th St, Minneapolis

This fantastic Colonial Revival home sits a block off Lake Nokomis on one of the largest lots in the immediate area. Built in 1922, the home has over 4200 finished square feet, five bedrooms, as well as beautiful original features including hardwood floors, built-ins, and light fixtures.

To learn more about this home and see additional photos, please visit its principle marketing website.