Archive for the ‘Minneapolis Historic Homes’ Category

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!

Minneapolis Historic Spanish Revival Home

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

This gorgeous Spanish Revival home is located near Lake Harriet in Minneapolis and was built in 1923 by the well known local architect John W. Lindstrom. Mr. Lindstrom has designed hundreds of homes and buildings around Minneapolis and has even authored a few books about home styles and floor plans. In 1922, he published a book solely on two story homes, many of which can be found still standing today. Unfortunately, when I looked through a copy of the book at the Minnesota Historical Society, the above home was not included. Most likely because the home was not completed until after publication of the book.

The original owner of the home was Fred Soderberg, which looking at original permits, contracted out the work himself. All in all, it appears the homes was built for around $11,000. He didn’t live in the home very long, for the 1934 Land Survey conducted by the City Planning Commission shows a new owner by the last name of Kavanaugh was in possession, with 8 people residing in the home, including the maid.

With almost 4000 square feet and five bedrooms, the home sits on a large corner lot. It sold in 2007, for the first time in 35 years, at a price of $832,000.

Lowry Hill Historic Renaissance Home

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

This weeks featured Historic Home of Minneapolis is located at 1300 Mount Curve Avenue.

Known as the Charles Martin house, the home was built in 1904 by William Channing Whitney and is mostly constructed of brick. When driving down Mount Curve, you could easily miss the home as it is tucked away behind a wrought-iron fence and large hedge. I had to angle the camera to get a good shot of the home.

The Twin Cities was founded on the backs of the flour mills. The original owner of the home was involved in the trade as the Secretary and Treasurer of the Washburn Crosby Company that later became General Mills. The home as sits on top of Lowry hill, looking down over Minneapolis. The view has changed greatly since its construction.

Built in the Italian Renaissance style, it has every thing needed to stand out as an fabulous form of architecture. The low pitched hip roof covered in tiles is one give away, but other classical details include the balustrade front porch, pediments over the windows, the brackets, dentils, and quoins, just to name a few. Also it seems that many columns on Renaissance homes are done in the Doric fashion.

View photos of the home as it appeared in 1910, and 1950.

The Longfellow House

Friday, March 14th, 2008

This weeks Historic Home in Minneapolis is 4800 Minnehaha Avenue.

Built in 1907, the home was constructed for Robert F. Jones and originally located at 4001 Minnehaha Parkway East. It was constructed as a 2/3 scale replica of a Colonial house located in Cambridge, Massachusetts that was owned at one time by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The home originally sat on 4.6 acres, part of Longfellow Gardens, a zoo and botanical gardens,which was run by Mr. Jones. When Mr. Jones died in 1934, the park was closed a short four years later. The property was deeded to the city of Minneapolis, which used the house as the Minneapolis public library up until 1967. Over the years, the historic building fell into ruin. It wasn’t until 1994 that the house was saved, when the home was moved by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to its current location and renovated by the Kodet Architectural Group.

As part of the Minnehaha Park, including Minnehaha Falls, the Longfellow House is used as an interpretive learning center.

Minneapolis Historic Home # 2

Friday, January 4th, 2008

This weeks showcase Historic Home in Minneapolis is located at 25 Groveland Terrace.

Architect Frank B. Long designed this home which was built in 1894 as his own personal residence. When it was built, it had a wonderful view of downtown Minneapolis.

The home is a simple representation of the Richardson Romanesque style so prevalent in Minneapolis and St Paul older homes. It was built with rough cut masonry stones and has the common circular tower. While the porch fits in nicely with the home, it is not original to the home. View this 1896 photo of the home as it was originally designed.

The building is currently used as a Gallery for local Midwestern artists, with exhibitions in the main house and carriage house too. Visit their website Groveland Gallery for more information.

View this 1910 photo of Groveland Terrace. The first two homes have since been demolished and replaced with less appealing buildings. The third home back is 25 Groveland.

Minnepolis Historic Home – Lake Harriet

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
This weeks Historic Home is 2504 40th St West.

In Southwest Minneapolis, just between Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet, sits a remarkable home unlike its neighbors. Built in 1906 for Frank E. Lovell, this Swiss Chalet style home was designed by Lowell Lamoreaux and is in fantastic condition. The balcony sweeps around the home and offers views of Lake Harriet.

Lake Harriet Historic Home in Minneapolis

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

This weeks Historic Home in Minneapolis is 4700 Lake Harriet Pkwy W.

Built in 1910 by Bertrand and Chamberlin, it was designed for Harry S. and Paula Pierce. The home sits on a small hill east of Lake Harriet, giving sweeping views of the Lake. Influences of Prairie Style are seen in the windows and roof design,. The most striking feature of the home is the frieze located on the second story which depicts a wooded scene with knights and maidens.

The most recent sale of the home was in 1997 for $745,000 and has an estimated value, now 10 years later, for just over $2 Million. It’s interior was updated at the time of sale with about 3000 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 4 baths, sunrooms, verandas and more.

Lowry Hill Historic Home in Minneapolis

Friday, September 14th, 2007

The first featured Historic Home in the Lowry Hill district of Minneapolis is 905 Douglas Avenue.
Built in 1900, the home is most likely similar to when it was first built, though the area surrounding it has changed greatly. Designed as a Colonial Revival mansion, the home has distinguishing characteristics of the style including full height column Corinthian capitals, dentils at the cornice with decorative molding, and a broken pediment above the door. The front door is also typical with its fanlight above the door and side lights.

The main home was recently restored to its former beauty and is currently listed for sale by Remax Results for $1,995,000. It boasts about 6500 square feet with 7 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms. The carriage house has also been restored and is currently zoned as a condo. Built in 1900 as well, it now has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and is approximately 1800 square feet. It is listed separate from the house for sale for $649,900.