Archive for the ‘Minneapolis Historic Homes’ Category

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:

The Donaldson House: A Look Into One of Minnesota’s Grand Homes

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

The Donaldson Mansion was selected last year to be featured in Larry Millet’s new book coming out in November, “Preserving Our Grand Homes: Minnesota’s Own”. It’s being published through the Minnesota Historical Society. Larry gave me a call asking if I knew of any extraordinary homes that might work for his book, and I said, “Well, yes, I think I have just the home you are looking for!”.  The owner was very excited and honored that his home was one of the few that made the cut list.

Larry and crew stopped by a month ago and filmed a short video of the home for the book release, and all I can say is that I wish it was longer!

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.

Grand Victorian in Bryn Mawr, Minneapolis

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

2006 Laurel Avenue W, Minneapolis

This grand Queen Anne Victorian home located in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood of Minneapolis was constructed in 1888 by Erick Lund for Eugene A.L. Arnold at a cost of $6000. It was later bought by Henry R. Higgins in 1904. The best interior feature of the home is the grand central staircase and wide entry foyer.

The most notable family to reside in the home was the Viehmann family, who owned the property from 1908-1931. George Viehmann ran the Viehmann Grain Company, and his family continued to have success in other business ventures.

Below are additional photographs of the home, the first being a winter view. The second is a photo from the Hennepin History Musuem, most likely taken sometime before 1970 when the home was addressed as 2000 Laurel Ave W.

Kees and Colburn Designed Home in Minneapolis

Saturday, May 29th, 2010
2008 Pillsbury Ave S, Minneapolis

Built in 1905 for Samuel J. Hewson, this home was designed by the Minneapolis firm of Kees and Colburn, with the interior of the home designed by John S. Bradstreet. Mr. Hewson worked for the Menomonie Hydraulic Press Brick Company in the late 1880’s and then later incorporated The Minnesota Paving Brick Company in 1908.

Interior decorator John Bradstreet was known for his Arts and Craft design, incorporating into the home a willow tree design on the fireplace surround tiles and leaded glass cabinet doors.

The home was recently put on the Minnesota Preservation Alliance 10 Most Endangered Places 2010 due to the fact the home was a foreclosure and left vacant. The homeowners tried stripping the place of all its decorative and historic elements to sell them at an estate sale before the bank took back the property. Luckily, they were discovered and stopped! The Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission then took steps to designate the property as a Minneapolis landmark protecting it while a designation study was completed. The house has since been put up for sale and looks to have sold to a new owner!

The house in 1914 and in 1974. 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.

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.

Hidden Italianate Home in Nokomis

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009
5028 Hiawatha Ave, Minneapolis

This fantastic example of Italianate design his a hidden gem in the Nokomis area of Minneapolis. Built sometime around 1875, it is one of the oldest surviving historic homes in the area. In the recent past, the home has been restored, and the colors chosen really make the home stand out in the neighborhood. The home originally has a cupola on the roof, since removed, and evidence still exists on the roof with the square cap. Looking at the front of the home, I would guess it also had a front porch, as the lower windows do not have window hoods, and the siding is different where a roof line would have been.

Beautiful decorative window hoods still adorn the windows.

Grand Mediterranean Home on Lake of the Isles

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

2427 Lake of the Isles Parkway East, Minneapolis

Last week I had the chance to tour the recently listed historic mansion on Lake of the Isles. It is a beautiful Spanish Revival home that was built in 1911 by architect Frederick Soper, presumably for Charles Buchholz the president of the Western Biological Supply Company.

A photo of the home as it looked in 1974 shows how the original entrance looked before the front stairs and terraces were added in 2005. The home is a standout inside and out, and features a grand staircase in the middle of the home, which gives an atrium feel to the home. It is currently listed for sale for $5.495 Million, one of the most expensive homes on Lake of the Isles.

Greek Revival Historic Home on Nicollet Island

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

This weeks historic home is located at 101 W. Island Avenue on Nicollet Island.

For those of you not familiar with Minneapolis, Nicollet Island is located on very small piece of land in the middle of the Mississippi River, just off downtown. This simple Greek Revival home is known as the R.M.S. Pease House and was originally located at 814 University Avenue. It was moved to its current location in 1986. Rev. Mr. Pease was a well known banker and minister in Minneapolis and Saint Paul in the mid-1800’s.

Save the Clock…(I mean) MoorishTower!

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

I hear these words ring through my head as I drive by 2500 Portland Avenue in Minneapolis. A big fan of the Back to the Future trilogy, I can’t help but feel the need to scream “Save the Clock Tower”, or in this case, save a rare piece of architectural history from neglect. Yes, this Moorish home is located in a not so good part of town, but is there anyone out there willing to take the risk and save this historic home from further decay and vandalism?

As a real estate agent, I know that in today’s market, the buying of a home comes down to price for most people. When this home was first placed on the market as a foreclosure by Automated Realty, it was priced at $229,900, well below the 2006 purchase price of $385,000. It has recently been reduced to $208,900. But the location of the home is the main culprit for its lack of appeal. If it were located in Ramsey Hill of Saint Paul, or near the Minneapolis chain of lakes, the home would have sold in no time at all. So is it any wonder that there are no takers?

Built in 1883 by Charles Bardwell, the original design was as a Queen Anne Victorian and was located on a different site at 1800 Park Avenue . However when the new owner, Emil Ferrant, purchased the home in 1890, he had Moorish features added to the home which can easily be seen in the onion domes. It is now simply known as the Bardwell-Ferrant House and was registered on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1984.

Before the home was bought and renovated in 1986 by Rolf Lokensgard, the once beautiful historic home was in disrepair. About $160,000 in renovations were put into the home and you can find stories about the renovation on other blogs. Please, someone, buy this house and save it!