Archive for the ‘Richardson Romanesque’ Category

Brick and Stone House on Summit Avenue

Thursday, June 24th, 2010
332 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota

Built in 1889 by Edgar Long, the home was designed by the Cass Gilbert and James Taylor (who also built together the home next door, 322-324 Summit Avenue). At the time, this amazing home was built for only $30,000. It is reported that Mr. Long was the in the lumber business, as were many of the wealthy home owners on Summit, and the general manager of the Railway Supply Company.

Amazingly, not much has changed with this home. While many homes in the area have lost their porches, or had additions put on the home, this home has only had a few minor changes. The coach port, as seen in this photo, has been enclosed and now houses the kitchen on the main floor, with a sun room on the second level (addition). For the grand homes on this side of Summit, the kitchens were originally located in the basement, with food delivered via dumb-waiters. It was believed that the smell of food would cause appetites to sour, so all food was prepared below the home. The new kitchen, since placed in the once porte cochere, has the exterior wall of the home as an interior wall, letting you see the grand door arches that were once entrances into the home from a carriage.

The rear of the home has seen some changes, namely to the porch stairs, as well as the missing railing on the top balcony, and the third story breeze way has been enclosed with glass. You can see how the home looked in 1890 from this photo.

At about 7600 square feet, the home is very large, with seven bedrooms, five bathrooms, and a third story game room. One of the draw backs would be the one car garage underneath the kitchen, but many of these homes lack adequate garage stalls. The saving grace is that the garage is a drive through into the back yard, offering further private parking if needed. When these mansions were built, carriage houses existed to the rear of the home, but most of these are long gone. At 332 Summit, the ruins of the original carriage house are still present.

The home recently sold in 2006 for $1,499,000.

Grand Clarence Johnston Built Mansion on Summit Avenue

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008
This weeks highlighted historic home is located at 476 Summit Avenue in St. Paul.

Built between 1883-1885, the home was designed by Clarence Johnston for Chauncey Griggs. As you can tell, it is surrounded by large trees, making it very difficult to get a good shot of the home. It is built in the Richardson Romanesque style, a very popular style at the time, at a cost of $35,000.

Returning to St. Paul after fighting in the Civil War, Griggs established a coal and lumber business with James J. Hill, then with R. W. Johnson, and finally with Addison G. Foster. His neighbor at 490 Summit Avenue, Mr. Foster, also had his home designed by Clarence Johnston.

Early photographs were taken of the home around 1888, and a very famous one from 1895 because of the children in the forefront, giving a good representation of period dress. The photos show the original look of the home, before some additions were made. The most notable change to the home is the removal of the front gable around 1940, being replaced by a huge skylight to give more light for its current owners, the St. Paul Gallery and School of Arts. The front porch that wrapped around the home has also been removed, making way for a ramp.

The current owners bought the home in 1982 and have been making many renovations to the home, bringing it back to its original splendor. You can imagine that over the years, many different types of interior design have graced the walls, so it is only understandable what a monumental task it is to restore the home. In 2004, the home was featured in the Summit Hill House Tour.

Some of the home features include “Grand hallways, twelve-foot ceilings on the first floor, majestic fireplaces, and a sweeping 26-foot high staircase… A unique carving of a cockfight adorns the fireplace in the music room and the dining room’s white marble mantle is decorated with a geometric serpentine inlay (a symbol of endless happiness) “.

One feature some may not like is the reported haunted house events. Seems the home is surrounded by stories at reported here.

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.

Summit Avenue Historic Mansion, St Paul

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

This weeks historic home is 323 Summit Avenue in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Built in 1892 at a cost of $35,000, this home was built for Edward Nelson Saunders by the famous Clarence Johnston. The Minnesota Historical Society has a sketch of the home in their archives done by the architect, as well as photos of the home in 1898 and 1973. A previous home stood on the site in 1863 but I wasn’t able to find a photograph of it to post.

The home is a classic example of the Richardson Romanesque style to popular with the architect. It is actually one of my favorite homes on Summit, but it is in desperate need of repair. There are some fantastic details in the porch columns and their ornate capitals, as well as a beautiful stone railing on the third level of the front facade.

I am not one hundred percent sure but I think the home is currently a residential residence. At one time it was used as the Cathedral Convent.

Summit Avenue Historic Home in Saint Paul

Friday, November 30th, 2007

This weeks showcase home is 251 Summit Avenue.

Known as the Horace Rugg residence, this was built in 1887 by Allen Stem for a cost of $24,500. Originally built as a single family residence, the home has seen many owners. In the 70’s the home was occupied by the Catholic Education Center, with the late 1990’s seeing the home converted to three condominium units. The estimated value of the building/units is well over $1 Million.

The home is an excellent example of Richardson Romanesque style, dominated by the masonry walls built of rough-faced, squared stonework, arched doorways and windows, and a tower. Most homes built in this style feature the red tinted stone show here and have decorative panels. This home has beautiful carved panels in the entrance arch of classic nudes and scroll work. The tower is on the side and is built into the home. If you get a chance to walk by this home, you will see it is grand feat of architectural design. I have not seen the inside, but it is said to have a variety of different wood species, including cherry, oak, and sycamore.