Archive for the ‘Summit Avenue’ Category

Burbank-Livingston-Griggs House on Summit

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

432 Summit Avenue, St. Paul
The Burbank-Livingston-Griggs is the second oldest home still standing on the avenue and was built by James Burbank in 1862. It is constructed of Mendota Limestone and was designed by Otis E. Wheelock of Chicago. Over the years the home has been touched by some of the most famous architects in Minnesota, including Clarence Johnston (1884), Allen Stem (1925), and Edwin Lundie.

The home is a fantastic representation of the Italianate style that was very popular from 1840-1880. Of the five Italian style villas built on the bluff, only two remain. Key exterior features of the home are the cupola that sits on top of the roof, the low pitched roof, tall narrow windows with arches, and large decorative brackets at the eaves. The home is situated on an acre of land and boasts a little over 10,000 square feet. With 7 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, the home is larger than it seems from the outside. Those lucky enough to see the inside would be astounded by the beauty. Mrs Theodore Griggs had many rooms imported after 1900 including a French drawing room, an Elizabethan study, and Italian paneled dining room, and a marble corridor to the mirrored ballroom. The last recorded sale of the home was in 1996 and is believed to be the only sale of the home in the last century.

Germanic Cultural House on Summit Avenue

Monday, January 31st, 2011

301 Summit Avenue, St. Paul
Built in 1905 by George Gardner at a price of $28,000 this Georgian Revival home was designed by Thomas Holyoke. Holyoke was the chief draftsman for the famous architect Cass Gilbert on the state capital building and also built five homes on Summit Avenue. Another home was originally built on this site in 1882 in the Queen Anne style, but it was moved around the corner to 107 Farrington in 1903.

The home has changed very little since construction. I was able to find a photo of the home as it appeared in 1948, before it became a German cultural center. The original owner, Mr. Gardner, lived in the house up until 1946 when the St. Paul Priory took possession. It wasn’t until 1966 when the current owners bought the home for $60,000 by selling bonds, and it became the Volksfest Kultur Haus. In 1990, the organization changed its name to the Germanic American Institute.

I have had the privilege of viewing the home during a past Historic House Tour and the home is amazing. There are two grand parlors on the main floor, each flanking a central staircase. The basement is fully utilized and a good place to socialize. German quotes and sayings abound throughout the house. Even though it is no longer used residentially, the Institute fits in nicely on Summit Avenue. There is even a carriage house in the back that looks like a small home, but has around 2000 square feet. If the property were to come up for sale, it would most likely fetch well over $1 Million.

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.

Summit Avenue Queen Anne in Saint Paul

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

265 Summit Avenue in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Built in 1885 for $10,000, the home was designed by C.W. Mould for John Robertson. Designed as a simple Queen Anne Victorian, it has a brick exterior and limestone foundation. You cannot see it from my photo, but there is a tower on the right side of the home. The top of the tower was closed in at the time of this photograph, but at one time was an open balcony with spectacular views of Summit Avenue and the surrounding homes. I believe the last time I drove by the home it appeared the new owners had opened the area once again.

With about 5500 square feet, the home has three stories, and if you know anything about the third stories of these historic homes, then you know they have amazing ceiling heights. The home has only had about five owners during its long life, and the last owners have been stewards for over 40 years. There are original Tiffany light fixtures in the home, as well as the original woodwork and trim. The best room in the home is probably the oval dining room with curved built in buffets. Take a look at the “Fire, Wind, Water” stain glassed windows located at the grand staircase.

I had to opportunity to view the home for a client a while back when the home was listed for sale. It is a very beautiful home, in need of many updates and remodeling. I am sure the new owners will have a wonderful time restoring the home to its former splendor.

Second Empire turned Colonial Revival

Friday, January 8th, 2010
285 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, MN

In 1882, a two story Second Empire Home was built on this site by Henry Rice, a local congressman and US Senator. He owned the home until it was purchased by Fredrick Fogg in 1894. In 1899, Allen H. Stem was contracted by Mr. Fogg to remodel the existing home, and what emerged was a Colonial Revival design with a high-end twist. The remodel was so extensive that the home was deemed new construction even though some of the original foundation and footings remained.

The siding on the home seen in this photo taken in 1973 is not original to the home. But thankfully, since then, the owners have removed the aluminum siding and revealed/restored the original wood beneath. The home also has many architectural details worth noting. Doric fluted columns support the porch, with wreath molding details above. The front windows are very interesting as they are slightly curved, with transom windows above three others. The elaborate doorway on the second floor, as well as the main entrance, give the home an upscale feel of a typical Colonial Revival home.

Currently a single family home, the last recorded sale was in 2002 for $1.25 Million. With a little over 8000 square feet, the home has about 7 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms.

318 Summit Avenue Sells Before Anyone Knows It

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Today, the historic home at 318 Summit Avenue in Saint Paul hit the MLS for $2.995 Million with Coldwell Banker , and with-in one hour it was pending. Three hours later it was listed as Sold at a price of $2.1 Million. Needless to say, a real estate deal was already completed before it went active on the market, the owner being a co-listing agent as well.

Below is a post I wrote about the history of this home, comprised of two other blog posts I wrote on my luxury real estate site.

This weeks showcase Historic Home is 318 Summit Ave in Saint Paul.

Built in 1893 by William H. Lightner for a sum of $24,000, the home was designed by the well known architect Cass Gilbert. Gilbert is credited with building a total of 8 homes on the Avenue. The home is a classic and simple representation of the Romanesque style, made famous by H.H. Richardson, in which the home is constructed of large, rough-cut stone. It is quite easy to recognize this architectural style on Summit Avenue in Saint Paul (approximately 12 homes were built between 1883-1893) as each of these home stands out from the common Queen Anne Victorian .

The current owners bought the home in June 2006 for $1,425,000 and are converting the home back to single family residential as it has been a multi-family home for a number of years. It sits on about a half an acre and boasts 7700 square feet, 6 bedrooms, and 8 bathrooms.

I was able to tour the home for one of its last showings with the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) 2007 Showcase Home Tour. Wow, is the only word to describe the home. Not only did the contractors and owners do a superb job at putting the pieces back together from the apartment building it had been converted to years back, but the designers finished the package with their beautiful array of colors, furniture, and accessories.

The original woodwork and moldings are still intact. Finely carved drip molding accents the staircase railing and the library has window moldings carved with the crest and date the home was built. Original chandeliers hang from the ceilings and it appears the windows are the originals as well. One interesting note is that homes on Summit use to have the kitchens located in the basement, with service delivered via a dumbwaiter. Victorians use to believe that guests would lose their appetite if they smelled the food while it was cooking. So a new kitchen was located in the back of the home where the billiard room use to be.

As you can see from the photos, the home now has some additions that blend in well with the architecture. Two garages were successfully built at the back of the home, with a terrace overlooking the river valley below. Also, the back of the home houses two, three season porches for relaxation and entertainment. Wondering what the dirt basement and previous kitchen became? Well now a bierstein resides there with a bar and wine cellar, as well as a bedroom, bath, and small kitchen.

Fall on Summit Avenue in Saint Paul

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Italian Villa on Historic Summit Avenue

Monday, August 24th, 2009
271 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul

Built in 1882, this home was commissioned by Joshua Sanders, but not as seen. The original home, from my research, was a one and a half story home that cost $5000 to build. When Sanders sold the home in 1887, the new owner, Emerson Peet, added a $7000 addition, which is the current home we see today.

Ernest Sandeen describes this home as a Tuscan Villa. The term is not widely used today for most homes of this style are lumped into the Italianate or Second Empire architectural group. So for my blog, I’ll put it under Italian Villa. Maybe because the home is simple in its design is one of the reasons it is hard to define. Not too much has changed about the home over the century of its existence. If you look closely at this photo taken in 1888, you can see that the central tower has a third story window in the roof, which has since been removed. Also, the second story porch on the left side of the home has been enclosed.

The current owners have been in the home for some time and the home is currently zoned as apartments.

A Darker Version of Tudor Revival on Summit Avenue in Saint Paul

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

This weeks historic home is located at 485 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul.

Built in 1907 for and by James A. MacLeod, this Tudor Revival designed home, with its muted tones is a stark contrast to the Victorian homes on Summit. I wasn’t able to find any original photos of the home in the archives, but it is well documented that a two story addition was added in 1911 designed by Reed and Stem (see another house they designed on Summit), and that a sleeping porch and sunroom were added in 1922.

Mr. Macleod did not own the home for long. He sold the home to John G. Ordway in 1913, whose family owned the home until 1975. Ordway was the manager and treasurer of the Crane Company, formerly known as the Crane and Ordway Co., which produced plumbing and heating supplies.

The home is currently valued for about $1.5 Million, sits on .25 acres, and boasts over 6600 square feet!

Saint Paul Historic Home Second Empire Style

Friday, October 31st, 2008

This weeks historic home is located at 235 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul.

Built in 1878 as a duplex, the home was built for Charles P. Noyes, a local wholesale druggist. It is a very simple Victorian, built in the Second Empire style. Little of the exterior has changed over the years. The porch trim is different and there has been a third story window added on the west side of the home. I have always liked this home as it commands its own attention amidst a street full of grand homes.

The home is fairly large, even though it does not look like it from the front, with six bedrooms, seven baths. It is currently zoned as apartments with 4 units: the main house, the third story apartment, and two units in the back. The best part of the home is the view – every minute of the day you can gaze at the St. Paul Cathedral.