Irvine Park Brick Beauty in Saint Paul

59 Irvine Park, Saint Paul, MN

This beautiful home on Irvine Park was built in 1889 by architect Emil Ulrici for the family of Dr. Justus Ohage. Sadly, just weeks after it was finished, Mrs. Ohage died, and Mr. Ohage was left to raise his five children on his own.

Mr. Ohage was quite a busy man. In 1886, he preformed the first successful gall-bladder surgery. From 1899-1907 he was the first city Commissioner of Health, and in 1900, helped finance the purchase of Harriet Island, rip-rapping the banks and constructing bathhouses and swimming areas. After all was done, he donated it all to the City of Saint Paul.

The Queen Anne styled home itself is made of Kasota stone, limestone, and yellow brick. Some of its notable features include the four-story octagonal corner tower, the cast iron columned porte cochere, and the Richardson Romanesque arched windows. Sadly, in 1984, the original transom windows in the sitting room, dining room, and living room were stolen, so the current owner had them recreated from old photos.

I was able to find an older photo of the home taken in 1936. By comparing them, you can see how the painted white trim of today gives the home a totally different appearance. The details, to me, don’t stand out as much as they do in the 1936 photo, and some of the details have since been removed over the years. In this 1972 photo, the upper part of the tower is missing, but in 1979, as this photo shows, effort was under way to restore the home to what it once looked like, especially with the reconstruction of the tower, a task completed by a Great-nephew of Dr. Ohage.

The home was featured in the February 2007 issue of Midwest Home Magazine, as the current owners have gone to great lengths to further restore the home.

One Response to “Irvine Park Brick Beauty in Saint Paul”

  1. prufrock says:

    Not to mention the Famous “Button Bar!”

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