From the category archives:

Historic Homes

Thinking of selling your high end home? Want something different that sets your home apart from others on the market and really grabs a buyer’s attention?

Check out the new video released by Jennifer Kirby, Broker/Owner of Kirby Fine Homes, that features one of her luxury listings in Minneapolis. It not only blows the ho-hum virtual tours of still shots used by most agents out of the water, it tells a story about the home and creates an emotional reaction from buyers that could just make them say “This is the ONE!”.

Want your high-end luxury or historic home to be featured next? Give Jennifer a call for a professional marketing consultation and analysis.


Most Expensive Homes in the St. Paul Area

It’s always fun to see what the Most Expensive Homes For Sale look like, where they are located, and what price they are asking, so I thought I would update my readers and let them take a peak at these amazing homes, this time in St. Paul. Most are historic homes with some amazing architectural features that just can’t be replicated today.

View the rest of these luxury homes below:

[idx-listings linkid=”371989″ count=”10″ showlargerphotos=”true”]


1712 Mount Curve Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

Built in 1906, this stunning home was designed for Lawrence Donaldson, who with his brother William, founded the Donaldson Department Store in Minneapolis. The architectural firm of Kees and Colburn was commissioned to design the family’s residence, known for a number of major works in Minneapolis including the Grain Exchange Building, Donaldson’s Office Building, and the Charles H. Harrington Mansion. They later designed the Loring Theater, the Ford Centre, and The Lowry, to name a few.

Constructed mainly of brick, the home is exquisitely detailed with a mixture of several design styles, the most prevalent being Arts & Crafts and Beaux Arts. Subtle design elements throughout the home, linked to Mr. Donaldson’s Scottish heritage, feature the thistle. Probably the most identifiable symbol of all things Scottish, the flower can be found on the facade of the house, the entry columns, above the entry door, on the chimneys, in the living room Tiffany window, and more!

Completed sometime in 1907, additional modifications to the home began in 1908 by expanding the north side – a dining room and a second floor bedroom were enlarged, a sleeping porch was added, and the screened-in porch became an enclosed sun room. The Donaldson’s also hired well known designer John Bradstreet to create a Japanese inspired Sun Parlor, as well as design the Reception Room/Study off the main foyer. In 1916, the carriage house was completed with four large carriage stalls, a second floor apartment, a number of work rooms, and a connecting tunnel.

As happened to many large properties in the Twin Cities as time moved on, the estate was subdivided into six separate lots in 1959 when it was sold by the Donaldson family. After the passing of many decades and multiple owners, the main house was bought by the current owners in 2000, who later that year acquired the original northwest hillside lot extending down to Kenwood Parkway, and in 2001 the carriage house. With three of the six lots reunited, the land totals just over an acre, or 44,792 square feet, representing one of the largest residential properties in Minneapolis.

Restoration of a Gem

Thankfully the new owners had a vision of restoring the home back to its former splendor. Over the last decade, with love and dedication, some of the highest quality craftsman and artisans were employed to bring the home back to life, while incorporating state of the art technology and modern conveniences for today’s busy lifestyle.

Carriage House

1712 Mount Curve Avenue Minneapolis Carriage House

The 3 level carriage house includes a fully restored and renovated upper level 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath apartment with kitchen, living room, and dining room and just under 1500 finished square feet. If leased, one parking stall is included with the apartment, and is located on the main level in the property’s terrazzo floored 4 car garage. The space would also be perfect as a nanny or in-law suite. The garage main level also features a workshop and tool room. The lower level, which connects to the main residence via a tunnel includes an exercise room, work shop, half bath, and storage rooms.

Currently Listed For Sale at $5,495,000. More information available at property website


In case you missed it, the Pillsbury Mansion “Southways” was quietly put back on the market in October 2011 for $24 Million, a far cry from its previous listing price a few years back of $54 Million. Located at 1400 Bracketts Point Road in Orono the home sits on some of the best real estate on Lake Minnetonka.

[idx-listings city=”Orono” minprice=”20000000″ propertytypes=”773″ orderby=”DateAdded” orderdir=”DESC” count=”5″ showlargerphotos=”true”]


It’s always fun to know what’s for sale, especially when we’re talking about multi-million dollar homes. In St. Paul, the most expensive homes sit on or around Summit Avenue, one of the most famous streets in the Nation for historic homes, so it should come as no surprise that the following home sits just a few blocks away.

Luxury Historc Mansion Frederick Weyerhauser

Known as the Frederick Weyerhaeuser Mansion, it is currently listed for sale at $2.75 Million. It sits on the bluff overlooking St. Paul and has quite a large yard at 1.3 acres.

Learn more about this historic home, please visit Historic Homes of Minnesota.

[idx-listing mlsnumber=”4030090″ showpricehistory=”true”]

1 comment

The Pillsbury Mansion on Lake Minnetonka has been on the market for 2 years this October. No big surprise that at a price of $53.5 Million, there haven’t been any takers. For luxury uber real estate at this magnitude, it could take five or more years to find the right buyer, especially in Minnesota.

Instead of waiting that period of time out, the owners of “Southways“, the name of the estate, have decided to try the auction route. Sheldon, Good and Co out of Chicago is the auction firm handling the sale, and they are offering the estate as a whole, or as five separate waterfront parcels.

I honestly don’t like the sound of that solution. Nothing like this estate exists, save the James Hill Mansion in Saint Paul. But this mansion sits on a rare property, what with its sweeping grounds, mature landscape, and formal gardens. Who knows how old some of the trees are that grace the property? All around Lake Minnetonka, large parcels of land have been divided up with large homes placed on smaller and smaller lots. It seems to me that the beauty of the area is soon to be dried up with homes as far as the eye can see. It will be interesting to see what happens to this beauty.

Situated on Brackett’s Point, the Pillsbury Estate is a 13 acre gem on Lake Minnetonka, and has only had two owners during its long lifetime. The current owners bought the home in 1991 when the original owner Eleanor Pillsbury, who was 104 years old at the time, died. The current owners hired the Beyer Blinder Belle architectural firm out of New York (known for their restoration work on Grand Central Station and Ellis Island) in 1992 to return the home back to its former glory, costing millions of dollars.

The home is being auctioned via sealed bids which must be delivered to the Auction firm by December 9th, 2009. It can be viewed by appointment only October 22nd, October 28th, November 1st, November 8th, November 18th, November 22nd & November 29th.


Do you have a historic home in Minnesota that you love to decorate for Halloween?

This year I am introducing the 1st Annual Historic Home Halloween Contest on my other blog, Send me an exterior photo of your home of how you decorate for Halloween, and I will pick a winner and post your fantastic historic Halloween home here on my blog. Please send your photos to by October 24th, and I will post a winner on October 26th. Now don’t be shy, I want to see alot of entries, day or night, which ever you think is better!


Recently listed for sale is a beautiful Spanish Revival home built in 1930 by Adolf Ronning. It was designed by Arthur Dahlstrom with input from Mrs. Hildur Ronning and reflects the Swedish and Norwegian heritage shared by the original owners. Sitting across the designated parkland on Lake Nokomis, the 3 city lot site rests on a natural ridge overlooking the lake.

The home features Tulip designs throughout the home, and none can be better seen then the two sets of Tulip Doors that grace the formal dining room and front living room. Hand cut from one tree, the doors are made of American Black Walnut and are hand rubbed oil, just like they were 80 years ago.

Offered at $1,069,000, the home offers lake living on Lake Nokomis, at a fraction of the cost of a home located at Lake of the Isles. To view more photos and learn historical information about the house, please visit .

1 comment