Archive for the ‘Beaux Arts’ Category

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!


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.


John Bradstreet Study

This historic home is also For Sale: 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.

Mount Curve Historic Home in Minneapolis

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

1712 Mount Curve, Minneapolis

The oldest house on its block, this home was built in 1906. It was built for Lawrence S. Donaldson by Kees and Colburn with obvious influences from the Prairie school of design and Beaux Arts.

The old home has some wonderful architectural details that would cost a fortune to replicate in today’s homes. The front porch is absolutely beautiful with its drip molding and ornate trim. The chimneys even have similar drip molding and trim at the top.

The last recorded sale of the homes was in 2000 with a purchase price of $2.825 Million. Taxes alone on the property are around $42,000 per year! But with the unbeatable views, I am sure that is a small price to pay. The home has about 9500 square feet and 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms.

Kees and Colburn also designed this home on Mount Curve. If you look at the porch pillars of each home, you can see the similar design in the drip molding.

Italian Beaux Arts Mansion in Saint Paul

Friday, February 8th, 2008
This weeks showcase Historic Home is 340 Summit Avenue.

Built in 1894 by Thomas Scott, this beautiful mansion was designed by Allen Stem at a cost of $40,000. Constructed out of local limestone, the house is a great example of the Italian Beaux Arts Style that was popular in St Paul at the end of the century. The decorative garland at the roof line is one of the dead give aways, as well as the symmetrical facade, flat roof, and smooth masonry stone exterior.

This grand home on Summit overlooks St Paul and the Mississippi River and has a wonderful panoramic view. The area where the old carriage house use to stand is still there. Built as a single family home, it was converted to eight apartments around 1950. The current owners bought the home in 2005 for $1.45 Million, desiring to return it to its previous single family grandeur, and have completed some major updates, including turning the front salon in to a living room and kitchen. When these homes were first built, the kitchens were located in the basements, where servants prepared the meals. Food was delivered via dumb waiter to a butler’s pantry next to the dining room. It was believed that the smell of food cooking would be unpleasant to visiting guests.

When you enter the home you are greeted to black and white marble tiles and a gorgeous marble staircase. Kids would have a wonderful time playing hide & seek as there are multiple stairways all the way from the basement to the third floor. A mirrored ballroom takes up the third floor, with bedrooms that were originally for the housemaids. It is truly a beautiful home that takes the breath away.

St. Mary’s Catholic Church – New Trier

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Earlier this summer I took a drive to Red Wing, Minnesota, along HWY 61. Along the drive, I went through a very small town called New Trier, Minnesota. This Beaux Arts designed building was finished in 1909 as the St Mary Catholic Church. The paint is so bright that you cannot miss it as you drive by, and the fact that it sits on a hill makes the church appear like it is looking over the community. It is included on the National Register of Historic Places.

The hill is actually called Mary Hill. The community of New Trier was founded by Catholic German immigrants and named after their hometown Trier in Germany. The first church was built in 1856, being a small log building. Eight years later it was replaced by a stone structure. The current church was designed by George J. Ries, who is better know to Saint Paul as the architect for Saint Agnes church on Lafond Avenue.