The well-preserved Victorian brownstone was designed by a renowned architect.
In 1894, this Queen Anne brownstone mansion cost an extravagant $12,000 to build.
It was designed by architects Clarence Johnston and William Willcox for Rush Wheeler, a real estate lawyer and his wife, Harriet Wheeler.
Today it’s on the market for $1.2 million and is among the many showy Victorian-era beauties lining historic Summit Avenue in St. Paul.
Although the 6,500-square-foot residence has undergone numerous updates over the past century, “the highlight of the house is the original exquisite detailed woodwork everywhere,” said Mary Hardy, the Edina Realty agent who has the listing.
Many well-preserved features hearken back to a more genteel way of living. From the gracious wraparound front porch embellished, with its original tile floor, to a porte-cochere where the horse and carriage dropped off passengers.
Inside, a charming tower’s curved window seat likely served as a family’s cozy reading nook.
Updated butler’s pantries are popular in today’s new homes for prep space and extra kitchen storage. This home boasts two large authentic butler’s pantries with handsome built-in cabinets where servants prepared lavish dinners from a bygone age.
Old World stained and leaded-glass windows and the original six tiled-surround fireplaces remain throughout the home.
The third floor originally housed the maids’ quarters. Over the years, it was finished with three bedrooms, a bathroom, and kitchenette, which can be used as a guest/in-law apartment.
The House of Hope Presbyterian Church down the block bought the residence in 2007 as a manse for the pastor. He retired last year, and the Church decided to sell.
The six-bedroom, five-bathroom house doesn’t have central air-conditioning but the stone exterior, partially screened porch and abundant air flow within the home combine to help keep it cool in summer, Hardy said.
Just as they did a century ago.
Lynn Underwood is a reporter for the Star Tribune’s Home & Garden section covering remodeling, design, trends, new housing, architecture, and gardening. She also writes for the Variety section.
About Betty Most