Coolest Houses in Minnesota: 200-151

It’s been quite a journey discovering the countless beautiful, quirky, stately, and unique homes in Minnesota.  What started as a Top 20 quickly turned into a Top 50, then a Top 100, and finally, a Top 200.  The most ambitious project on HighwayHighlights yet, the tour of homes has led me in all corners of the state.  It seems there are always new beauties to see, but this list will conclude the experience.  Start at the top with……

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200. Sauntry House, Stillwater – The stylish, colorful, William Sauntry House in Stillwater was built in 1891 for a prosperous lumberman.  Although not visible in the above picture, an elaborate “Moorish” recreation hall was added in later years.

NICH199.  Nicherson-Tarbox House, Monticello – This unique blend of Shingle-style and Queen Anne architecture was built in 1889 for Evert Nicherson, a prominent local lumberman.  The home was later bought by James Tarbox, who added a barn behind it.

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198. William R. Wolf House, Waseca –  Built in 1895 for a local merchant and civic leader, the Wolf House in Waseca diplays the beautiful Queen Anne style of architecture.  It is currently used as the Pine Cone B&B.

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197. Hudson Wilson House, Faribault – This little French Second Empire-style home in Faribault dates back to 1876 and was built for an influential civic leader. It features a fleur-de-lis symbol as a nod to the home’s French roots.

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196.  The “Wolf House,” Northeast Minneapolis  –   A recent entry on our Weird Houses list,  the artsy “Wolf House” in Northeast Minneapolis is the work of roughly 4 decades of Lauri Svedberg, an eccentric character who completely made over an early 1900’s one-bed-one-bath frame house into an earthy, artsy, quirky home featuring cobblestone, homemade windows, rock gardens, and an even more bizarre interior.

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195. Adams- Ramsey House, St. Cloud – This historic home north of downtown St. Cloud was built in 1889 in the classic Queen Anne style of Victorian architecture.  It was foreclosed on during the Great Depression, later subdivided into apartments, and many of the grand features were removed.  But a local couple has bought it and is in the process of restoring it to its original glory.

IMG_9603194.  James Castle House, Stillwater- Painted black and clad with pointed, Gothic windows and dormers, this gorgeous and ominous looking home in Stillwater was built in the 1872 by James Castle, a US Representative under President Cleveland.  

IMG_9927193. Lustron Houses, Minneapolis – Lustron Houses were manufactured homes built in 1948-1950 in post-WWII America to accommodate the housing shortage for returning soldiers and their families. Made of prefabricated enameled steel, they were also said to be affordable and low maintenance.  The company lost money on each house sold and halted production after only 2 years.  A handful of these homes can be found in South Minneapolis in the Nokomis area. There are only about 2,000 left in the entire US.

HLH192. Henry Ladd House,  Minneapolis – This brick beauty is found in Minneapolis’ Loring Park neighborhood just outside of downtown. It was built in the 1889 by Ladd, a real estate developer using Kasota stone and designed in the Romanesque style of architecture.

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191.  4631 Lake Ave, White Bear Lake – The restored, Victorian home on White Bear Lake was built in 1889. It features many original and vintage furnishings and hardware and recently was up for sale. The home is unique for its decorative trimwork and many different window styles.

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190. Josh Hartnett House, Minneapolis –  Built in 1887, this Shingle-style home overlooking Lake of the Isles features a curved front facade and detailed trim and window design.  Minnesota-born actor Josh Hartnett owned the home for a period of time in the 2000’s and sold it around 2015.

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189. 614 Dayton Avenue, St. Paul – Designed in 1889 by John Coxhead, the home at 614 Dayton Ave in St. Paul’s Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood has a distinctive curved turret and ornate, Eastlake-influenced spindlework on its front porch areas.  There are several homes down the road from this which also feature Coxhead’s signature designs.

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188. Otto Muller House, St. Paul – The funky, eye-catching Otto Muller House in Swede Hollow in St. Paul dates back to 1891. Otto was vice-president of Hamm’s Brewery out of St. Paul. It is built in the classic Queen Anne style of architecture.

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187.  Lowry Rose Mansion, Minneapolis – Although currently converted to an office building, the Lowry Rose Mansion in Uptown’s Lowry Hill neighborhood is a brick-style, Queen Anne Victorian home built in 1887 and is currently for sale for over $2 Mil.

Kirk186. Robert Alexander Kirk House, St. Paul – This home on Laurel Ave in St. Paul was built in the 1880’s for Kirk, a Civil-War vet from Ohio who moved to St. Paul and dealt in wholesale hardware.  The style of this colorful home is Eastlake, a subgenre of Queen Anne architecture which focuses on detailed trim, spindles, and siding.

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185. Dayton House, Worthington – The incredibly-symmetrical George Dayton House in Worthington, MN, was completed in 1890 in the Colonial Revival style of architecture. Dayton was a New York investor who moved to Minnesota and began the Dayton’s department store, which later became Macy’s.  Target was also born under the Dayton’s chain. The home is now a historical museum.

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184. Murray-Lanpher House, St. Paul – One of the architecturally significant homes in the enclave known as Irvine Park, the Murray-Lanpher home was built in 1887 for Michael Murray, a barrel-manufacturer. He died before the home was completed.

EMH183. Eugene Merrill House, Minneapolis – A signature home in the Washburn-Fair Oaks District of Minneapolis, this Romanesque Revival home was constructed in 1884 by Merrill, a lawyer and banker.  The plans for the home were drawn up by William Channing Whitney, who designed many homes on our comprehensive list.

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182. 120 Wilkin St W, Stillwater – One of Stillwater’s “Pioneer” homes, this remarkable Victorian home dates back to 1868. Around 1906, hardwood floors were installed by local inmates from a nearby correctional institution. It features an attached conservatory and can be yours for around $2M!

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181. Channing Seabury Home, St. Paul – Built in 1887 for Channing Seabury, a local grocery wholesaler who came from Massachusetts by way of New York City before arriving in Minnesota in 1860, this home features a unique rounded dome on its left turret.

DLH180. Drew H. Lord House, Northfield – Drew H. Lord was a successful builder in Northfield in the late 1800s; he built this home in 1887 in the Eastlake style of architecture.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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179. August F. Poehler House, Henderson – Although the home is now home to the Sibley County Historical Museum, it was once home to a prominent local merchant and early settler named August Poehler.  It was built in 1883 and displays Queen Anne-style architecture.

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178. Wedin House, Duluth – Winslow Wedin, an architect who eschewed traditional building materials and boring rectangular shapes, designed two bizarre homes in Minnesota out of unusual building materials.  This was the second house after Ensculptic, which appears down the page from this entry. Wedin preferred to build using polyurethane foam over a frame, in this case making a spaceship-looking home.  It’s a private residence nowadays, and completely hidden by trees in warmer months.

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177. Henry D. Defiel House, St. Paul – A fun one found in St Paul’s Swede Hollow neighborhood north of downtown, the Defiel House was constructed in 1890 for Defiel, the owner of the leading ice company in St. Paul during that era.  At the time it cost $6,000 to build.

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176. John C. Nutting House, Northfield – Currently the home for the President of Carleton College, the John C. Nutting home in historic Northfield was built in 1889 and is one of the only known surviving brick buildings from the 19th century in Northfield.

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175. Frederick Stevens House, North Minneapolis –  The Frederick Stevens House in North Minneapolis features a blend of architectural styles, including Eastlake, Queen Anne, and Moorish. It was built in 1890 for a local sawmill owner.

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174. Ivory McKusick House, Stillwater – A gorgeous, pink-colored Second Empire-styled home in Stillwater, the McKusick House was built in 1868 for a prosperous lumberman and early pioneer of Stillwater.

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173.  Streamline Moderne-style House, Lake City – Lake City on the Mississippi River south of Red Wing is home to many beautiful homes, like this immaculate Streamline-Moderne style home, which is a subgenre of the Art Deco movement.

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172.  Frank Shepard House, St. Paul – Built in 1882 in St. Paul’s Daytons Bluff neighborhood, the Shepard House has seen many functions over the past century such as a Reform school, a Montessori pre-school, and even a B&B. It is built with Queen Anne and Romanesque Revival influences.

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171. Eastlake-style House, Duluth-  Another intricately and elaborately-designed Eastlake-style home in Duluth that is just too good for words. This colorful Candyland home is situated just outside of Duluth’s historic downtown.

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170. Mary Tyler Moore House, Minneapolis – The iconic home at 2104 Kenwood Parkway in Minneapolis is known by most as the Mary Tyler Moore House, due to the fact that the exterior of the star’s home on the beloved program which aired in the 1970’s.  It was built in 1892 and was recently purchased after being on the market for half a decade.

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169. Anson Brooks Mansion, Minneapolis – This Gothic-style fortress was built in 1907 for the lumber baron Brooks in the Venetian Gothic style, the only known home of the type in MN. It is found on Park Avenue in Minneapolis.

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168. Macleod-Ordway House, St. Paul – An interesting Tudor-style home on St. Paul’s Summit Avenue, this one was built in 1907 to James Macleod, and later sold to John Ordway, who sold heating and plumbing supplies.

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167.   E. L. Powers House, Minneapolis – This curious-shaped home near Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis was built by the architect-duo of Purcell and Elmslie in 1910.  The firm built some of Minnesota’s most memorable homes in the iconic Prairie School style.

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166. Jacob Heck House, St. Paul – A quirky mix of Queen Anne and Eastlake styles, the Jacob Heck House in St. Paul’s Swede Hollow neighborhood dates back to 1889.

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165.  Streamline Moderne-style house,  Litchfield – This sleek, Streamline Moderne-style home in Litchfield was most likely built around the 1930’s. I don’t have much more info on it but I love the circular window and curved, glass-tiled front section.

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164. Stone House, Duluth – Another Duluth beauty that I don’t have a lot of information on.  The home features several styles of architecture and striking red stonework with green capped turrets on each side.

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163. Fried and Henry J. Neils House, Minneapolis – This Frank Lloyd Wright House overlooking Cedar Lake in Minneapolis was built in 1951.  It is Wright’s only home using marble blocks under its swooping rooflines and sharp angles.

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162. Castle House, Litchfield – This brick castle-like home in Litchfield was built around the turn of the century with Queen Anne and Romanesque styles of architecture.

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161. Adams/Quast House, Hutchinson – Built in 1902 for a local judge (Adams) and later owned by Quast, a furniture store owner, the Greek Revival style home in Hutchinson is still owned by members of the Quast family.

NWH160.  George Newell House, Minneapolis – A beautiful example of Richardsonian Romanesque, the Newell House features Lake Superior brownstone, an arched entrance porch, and an octagonal dormer between carved ornamental panels on its bold facade. Newell was one of the owners of what is now SuperValu.

IMG_6670159. William & Bertha Constans House, St. Paul – Built in 1886, this interesting Summit Ave home showcases a mix of Queen Anne and Neoclassical styles. It was constructed for William Constans, who owned a company selling brewing supplies to the Twin Cities’ early beer makers like Schmitt’s and Hamm’s.

DSC_1321158. Ensculptic House, Minnetrista –  Ensculptic has been on the pages of HighwayHighlights before.  Created in the 1970′ be architect Winslow Wedin and his students using polyurethane spray over a metal skeleton, the mushroom-shaped oddity stands alone in its own category of bizarre homes in Minnesota.  It’s on a quiet, dirt road out in the country just west of Minneapolis and once sat on the market for a great while because it was so difficult to insure.

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157. A. D. Arundel House, Minneapolis – Possibly the boldest and visually-arresting front entrance on any house in Minnesota, the Arundel House in Minneapolis’ Kenwood Park District features a curved portico with bold, stately columns. It was built in 1895.

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156. Dr. Albert C. Wedge House, Albert Lea – Albert Wedge was Albert Lea’s leading doctor for around 50 years in the town’s early years. His beautiful Shingle-style home was built in 1880.

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155. J.W. Gerber House, Luverne – This beautiful home in Rock County was built in 1901 for a local civic leader and prominent businessman in the Colonial style of architecture.  It features stately columns and detailed dormer and portico windows.

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154. Judson Wade Bishop  House, St. Paul – This historic house in St. Paul was built in 1882 for Judson Bishop, a Civil War hero and later politician and general manager of the St. Paul Railroad. It was designed in the French Second Empire style of architecture and a Mansard-style roof.

IMG_9145153.  Francis Bean Jr. House, New Prague – This Tudor-Revival style home in New Prague was built in 1906 for the son of Bean, Sr., the founder of International Foods.  Bean was a Minnesota transplant who was originally from Massachusetts.  The grand home once featured rose gardens and a tennis court.

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152. Chauncy Griggs Mansion, St. Paul – The Griggs Mansion, one of St. Paul’s most elegant homes on Summit Avenue, was built in 1883 in the Romanesque style with its brick archways and bold turrets.  It features a 3rd-floor solarium skylight with was added in the 1930’s.  It is reportedly one of the most haunted homes in Minnesota.

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151. Andrew Olson House, Minneapolis – This mesmerizing Queen Anne home, built in 1886 for local tailor and furniture salesman Andrew Olson,stands tall overlooking Fairview Park in North Minneapolis.

Onto 150-101!

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