Southwest Minneapolis is home to 49 places deemed significant by the National Register of Historic Places. Last week we looked at 13 places located in Loring Park. This week, we are explore 20 historical places in Lowry Hill, Stevens Square, Whittier, East Isles, Kenwood, and Cedar-Isles-Dean. And in the final installment next week, readers will learn about the nationally recognized historical places in Lyndale, South Uptown, Kingfield, East Harriet, Linden Hills, Lynnhurst, and Tangletown.
We start off in Lowry Hill.
14. Elizabeth C. Quinlan House, added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 25, 2012: Elizabeth C. Quinlan is a historical Minneapolis figure for co-founding the Young-Quinlan Department Store, a retail and clothing store that catered to middle class women in the city. Quinlan’s department store specialized in ready-to-wear fashionable pre-made outfits. When most department stores opted for custom made clothing, Quinlan’s department store saved money by mass production off-the-rack clothes.
After several successful years at the helm of the Young-Quinlan Department Store, Quinlan purchased two-and-a-half city lots in the upscale Lowry Hill neighborhood for her new home. Quinlan retained Frederick L. Ackerman with the vision to design her home in the likeness of an Italian villa. After a year of planning and construction, Quinlan’s Renaissance Revival style home was completed at a cost of $47,000. The Quinlan home is an iconic residence on the 1700 block of Emerson Avenue South. The stucco home with a terra-cotta roof captures the eclecticism in architecture for the first class homes of the roaring twenties.
15. Charles J. Martin House, added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 26, 1978: Another historic building that was designed by William Channing Whitney in 1903, the Charles J. Martin house at 1300 Mount Curve Avenue is an excellent example of the “city estates” of the early 1900s.
Charles J. Martin made his fortune as a successful flour milling businessman. Martin was the secretary and treasurer of the Washburn-Crosby Milling Company, the predecessor to General Mills. Martin was also a prominent advocate of the City Beautiful Movement; he was involved in the promotion of city parks, libraries, and various art societies.
In the 1950s, the Charles J. Martin House was home to Antal Dorati, conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra; followed by Fernando Torres, Colombian neurologist and professor of the University of Minnesota. Under Torres’ ownership, part of the home became the Colombian consulate.
By the 1960s, the home was owned by Gordon Locksley, famed art dealer and hair stylist. Locksley held famed parties at 1300 Mount Curve. Guests such as Andy Warhol, Paul Morrissey, Viva, and Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, commonly known as Christo, were all in attendance at some of Locksley’s famed parties.
16. Amos B. Coe House, added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 12, 1984: This Queen Anne style home at 1700 3rd Avenue South was constructed for Amos B. Coe, real estate developer, in 1884. With multiple spindled porches & balconies, custom windows, and a multi-gabled roof, the home oozes with intricate craftsmanship synonymous with upper-middle class housing design from the late 1800s.
In recent years, the Coe House has been shrouded in controversy. The Minnesota African American Museum and Cultural Center attempted to fundraise a several-million dollar renovation of the home beginning in 2008. The fundraising attempts didn’t cover the cost of renovations, and the museum was evicted from the property in 2015. Afterwards, the home and carriage house behind the Coe House were converted into apartments.
17. George R. Newell House, added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 15, 1977: This pari-symmetrical Richardsonian Romanesque stylized home was designed by Charles Sedgwick; constructed from Lake Superior brownstone for lumber businessman Sumner T. McKnight, the home was completed in 1888. The intricately designed home features a Victorian styled interior filled with oak finishes and Tiffany & Co. lighting fixtures.
After its construction, McKnight sold the home to George R. Newell, an original founder of grocery firm Stevens, Morse, and Newell. After George R. Newell’s death, his son, L. B. Newell assumed ownership of his father’s company, which was renamed as SuperValu under his leadership.
18. George W. and Nancy B. Van Dusen House, added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 18, 1995: Just a few doors down from the George R. Newell House, this regal 12,000 square foot mansion was completed in 1893 for George Washington Van Dusen, who made his money in the grain transportation industry.
The Van Dusen House features a pink Sioux Quartzite exterior from a Luverne, Minnesota quarry. The home has several chimneys, steep pitched roofs, and a two-story turret off the main entrance. The interior of the home mixes elements of French, Gothic, Tudor, Romanesque, and Elizabethan styles. It contains ten fireplaces, a grand staircase, large skylights, carved woodwork, parquet floors, and a tile mosaic in the entryway.
19. Anne C. and Frank B. Semple House, added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 26, 1998: located on the same block as the Van Dusen House, the 19,000 square foot Semple House was built in 1901 in a Beaux-Arts architectural style by the Long, Lamoreaux & Long firm.
Frank B. Semple was cofounder of the Janney, Semple, and Co., a wholesale hardware company founded in Minneapolis in 1866. Using the money he earned as “Hardware King of Minneapolis,” Semple commissioned the construction of his 1901 home; which at the time was on the far southwest outskirts of Minneapolis. Semple only lived in the home for a few years, passing away in 1904. Anne passed away a few years later in 1910. The home remained a private residence until 1935, when the Ministers Life and Casualty Union acquired the home.
Today, the home has a mixed use of private offices and special event spaces for wedding ceremonies and receptions.
20. Edwin H. Hewitt House, added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 6, 1978: The 1906 home of the prominent local architect Edwin Haley Hewitt is located at 126 East Franklin Avenue. Hewitt’s Tudor Revival home features a symmetrical facade with an intricate brick-laden first story with a stucco second and third story.
Hewitt studied architecture in the United States and Europe before returning to Minneapolis in the early 1900s to establish his architectural firm, which later merged to become the Hewitt and Brown firm. Hewitt designed many of the famed homes and buildings on this list.
21. Washburn-Fair Oaks Mansion District, added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 17, 1978: A collection of mansions built in the late 1800s through early 1900s by wealthy families looking to move towards the then-outskirts of Minneapolis. The district is bordered by Franklin Avenue, 4th Avenue South, 26th Street East, and 1st Avenue South.
22. Church of St. Stephen, added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 15, 1991: This sandstone-walled church combines elements of Richardson Romanesque and Romanesque Revival styles, situated within the Washburn-Fair Oaks Mansion District at 2201 Clinton Avenue South. Built in 1891, the church features a 150 foot tall tower, several round-arched stained glass windows, and three stained glass windows custom designed by the Tiffany Company.
This church was completed towards the end of a very active period of church construction in the late 1800s in Minneapolis. By 1893, Minneapolis housed over 150 religious buildings, of which 17 were built during the years of St. Stephen’s construction between 1889-1891. Many churches during this period were simple wooden edifices, later replaced with more imposing and architecturally interesting buildings.
23: Alano Society of Minneapolis Clubhouse, added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 13, 2021: Located at 2218 1st Avenue South, the building was first constructed as a private residence for businessman and industrialist John Washburn in 1887. The home was purchased by the Alano Society of Minneapolis in 1942; the Alano Society was Minnesota’s first chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous. Thereafter, the building was used for meetings, events, keynote speakers, and as an information hub for AA. The Alano Society of Minneapolis Clubhouse is the oldest continuously operating Alano Club at a single location in the world.
24: Elisha and Lizzie Morse Jr. House, added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 28, 1995: Originally located at 2402 Fourth Avenue South, the Morse House was moved to its present location at 2325 Pillsbury Avenue South in 1991. The Morse House was first built in an Italian Villa style for grocery businessman Elisha Morse Jr. of the Stevens, Morse, and Newell grocer firm. The home’s design features a central windowed cupola and cut-plank siding. This type of intricate siding is made to mimic that of cut-stone. To further resemble a stone structure, the exterior paint is mixed with sand to create a textured surface. Thus, from a distance, the home looks to be made of stone rather than wood.
25: Calvary Baptist Church, added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 19, 2021: Designed by Warren Howard Hayes and Harry Wild Jones, the Calvary Baptist Church was completed in 1889 in a Romanesque Revival style with an Akron Plan layout. Like the Church of St. Stephen, the Calvary Baptist Church was completed during the zenith of an especially active phase of church construction in Minneapolis during the late 1800s. The church is iconic for its lengthy congregational history, and its association with famed Minneapolis architects Hayes and Jones, making the religious building an important contribution to Minneapolis’ history.
Lowry Hill East/The Wedge
26: John G. and Minnie Gluek House and Carriage House, added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 9, 1990: This unmistakable Georgian Revival home situated at 2447 Bryant Avenue is a prominent feature in The Wedge neighborhood. Constructed in 1902 for the son and heir-apparent of the Gluek Brewing Company, the Gluek House signals the transition from Queen Anne to the more fashionable Georgian or Colonial Revival style that took Minneapolis by storm at the beginning of the 1900s.
The Glueks lived in the home for only a few years. In 1908, John and Minnie Gluek met their untimely demise when their car collided with a train at an at-grade train track crossing in Cottagewood near Lake Minnetonka.
27: Buzza Company Building, added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 24, 2012: Built in 1907 for only $55,000, this 139,000 square foot former factory is located at 1006 West Lake Street in the Uptown area of Minneapolis. Originally, the building was home to the Buzza Company, a forerunner in the greeting card industry. The first portion of the building that was built fronts Lake Street. Designed by James Allan macLeod, the original 1907 building is a four-story reinforced concrete rectangular structure. In the mid 1920s, the building was expanded upon to form its current footprint. The 1920s addition added a seven story Art Deco tower that adorns the word “Buzza” facing to the north and west.
After the Buzza Company liquidated in 1942, the building was used for military research and manufacturing during WWII. After the war, the building was used by a number of different local, state, and federal government departments. In 1971, the Buzza Company Building was granted to Minneapolis Public Schools to serve as an adult education and learning center. Starting in 2010, the building was renovated into Buzza Lofts, a low-income apartment complex centrally located in Uptown.
28: Walker Branch Library, added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 26, 2000: The 1911 library building is located at 2901 Hennepin Avenue, across the street from the current Walker Library building. The original Walker Branch was designed in a Classical Revival style, featuring a symmetrical facade, portico, and ornate columned entrance.
The original Walker Branch Library served the community for 70 years until its closure in 1981 for a larger library building constructed across the street. After its closure, the former Walker Branch Library building has been utilized for a variety of uses such as a restaurant, clothing store, salon, yoga and pilates studio, nightclub, and events center.
29. Scottish Rite Temple, added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 30, 1976: This historic church building - also known as the Fowler Methodist Episcopal Church - was designed by Warren Howard Hayes and Harry Wild Jones in 1894. Hayes & Jones designed many NRHP churches throughout Minneapolis in the late 1800s, including the Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church and Calvary Baptist Church. A much larger addition to the church was completed in 1906 by Jones. Designed in Romanesque Revival style, the stone walls are comprised of pink jasper and local sandstone. The temple’s most iconic feature is its 24-foot diameter Masonic Knights Templar rose window which is further broken into 12 rose “petals” of leaded stained glass.
30. Purcell-Cutts House, added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 29, 1974: At 2328 Lake Place, this famous Minneapolis home was designed by the Purcell, Feick & Elmslie architecture firm for architect William Purcell in 1913. Near Lake of the Isles, this home is a pristine example of Prairie School style architecture; a style characterized by horizontal lines, open floor plans, and native materials.
The Purcell family owned the home from 1913 to 1919, when it was sold to Anson Bailey Cutts Sr. and his wife Edna Browning Stokes. The home belonged to the Cutts until 1985, when the house was donated to the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts. The house now operates as a museum, offering tours each month.
31. Dr. Oscar Owre House, added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 8, 1984: Designed by the Purcell, Feick & Elmslie firm in a Prairie School style, the 1912 home located at 2625 Newton Avenue South is shaped like a cube with several porches that radiate from the sides of the house. The home’s design features many shared designs with the Purcell-Cutts House, located on the other side of Lake of the Isles.
32. Frieda and Henry J. Neils House, added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 26, 2004: This Usonian Style home was designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1950-51 for the Neils family of 2801 Burnham Boulevard. The single story, L-shaped Neils House features social and spatial organization into both active and quiet areas with a dominant living room. This Frank Lloyd Wright home is distinctive for its use of unusual building materials not typically seen in homes built during the midst of the 1950s.
34. The Beach Club Residences, added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 23, 2003: Formerly known as the Calhoun Beach Club, the Beach Club Residences of 2730 West Lake Street are a local example of the apartment hotel, a housing type that was popular in urban areas during the 1920s. Designed by Charles Wheeler Nicol in a Georgian Revival style, the building was largely constructed in 1928-29 and completed during a second construction phase in 1946.
The apartment hotel catered to a niche group of middle-class urbanites of diverse backgrounds who wanted the facilities of a private social club but also wanted to emulate lifestyle characteristics typically associated with large American cities. Thus, the apartment hotel served as a pragmatic living choice for those who wanted the amenities of a social club without the burdens or risks associated with home ownership.
Stay tuned next week as we explore Lyndale, South Uptown, Kingfield, East Harriet, Linden Hills, Lynnhurst, and Tangletown and round out the 49 nationally recognized historical spots around Southwest.