Save the Clock…(I mean) MoorishTower!

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!

5 Responses to “Save the Clock…(I mean) MoorishTower!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for your post,
    Jennifer…this is truly a unique
    house as I’ve said on my blog
    coololdbuildingsmn.wordpress.com…
    and the tragedy is location, location,location…

    She’s a heartbreaker isn’t she, the lovely pink palace?

    If only she could be moved…

    Very interesting to read in the
    most recent Southwest Journal
    the story of the $1 million dollar
    Coe House on 3rd Ave So in Minneapolis…admittedly in much
    better condition and location…
    but a wealthy lady Ms. Givens
    saw it, and will be transforming
    it into a black history museum with bonds from the City and private funds…

    Ahhh, if only, another wealthy
    preservationist would see Bardwell-Ferrant and be as convinced as we that she must
    be saved. If only.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Bardwell-Ferrant house was sold
    within the past two weeks. If anyone knows the final sale price
    (it was reduced to $179,900) or who
    the new owner is, let me know.
    mdougla@pclink.com

    http://coololdbuildingsmn.wordpress.com

  3. Actually, it was taken off the market and relisted with Remax as of 12/19 (today). The price is now at $171,900 and is still for sale.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It sold for about $110,000

  5. Anonymous says:

    It’s going to beautiful when its done, I guarantee it. I know the owner and he is already in the process of choosing the exterior paints and it’s going to be a traffic stopper, well lets hope not considering how many cars travel down Portland ave!

Leave a Reply