Cass Gilbert’s St. Paul’s Tangletown home sells for $1.295 million
Minnesota State Capitol architect Cass Gilbert is known for his famous buildings throughout the state and beyond, as well as the grand homes he designed. But it was the quaint atmosphere of an 1886 Victorian farmhouse he designed in St. Paul’s Tangletown that attracted Jack and Joan Hansen.
The couple were house hunting when they came across the 4,800 square foot home on a half acre lot that included a shed, wrought iron fence and a sunny porch. Once inside, they saw the details of the house—the arched hall, the inlaid flooring, the bay windows and wood-burning fireplaces, the turreted rooms—and it was done.
“We fell in love with it. It was a beautifully designed house. It was big, but it didn’t feel big,” Jack said. “There was an intimacy behind it.”
They bought the Cambridge Street house in December 2001. The aging house needed work, so before moving in they undertook an eight-month rehabilitation project, bringing in preservation specialist John Erler Custom Carpentry.
“We were very lucky to have the flexibility to do this. We were a bit homeless in St. Paul, but we had our cabin to lean on,” Jack said. “The moment we moved in, we were able to enjoy it because we did it all in one fell swoop.”
The biggest transformation took place in the kitchen, where a storage room was removed to expand the heart of the home and add a pantry and dining area. An island, granite countertops, pewter backsplash, new cabinetry and open shelving were installed. Appliances have been updated to stainless steel.
“The kitchen has become very comfortable, friendly and inviting,” Jack said.
For the renovation, the Hansens have endeavored to stay true to the style and era of the house.
“We touched all the walls and painted them. We put in period carpeting. We [refinished] wood floors. Almost every surface inside the house has been redone or replaced,” Jack said.
take it outside
As soon as they moved in, they embarked on outdoor projects.
With the help of David Heide Design Studio, they removed the stucco on the lower part of the house (which had been added by a previous owner) and replaced it with clapboard siding to match the style of the house. origin of the house.
The two-story shed has also been updated, with new siding and concrete flooring. The interior of the second floor has been transformed into a leisure space.
The Hansens also rebuilt the front porch and added a back porch, which included built-in seating.
“We had it in line with the porch, with columns and everything,” Jack said. “We tried to keep everything in the architectural style of Cass Gilbert.”
The Hansens also hired Phillips Garden to landscape the yard, bringing in trees, plants, benches and a pergola.
“We made the landscape with flowers more true to the Victorian era – hydrangeas, peonies,” Joan said. “I remember going through all the rooms in the house with [the project manager] and looking at the view outside. I wanted every room to have something to look at.”
Finally, the cracked concrete driveway was replaced with historic Purington pavers, which fit the house and boast of being durable.
“It’s like a nice park path leading up to the garage, and they’ve held up to the winters surprisingly well,” Jack said.
Jack said they were happy to have taken on the big projects early on.
“Despite all the time and money we invested in the early years, we were able to enjoy it while focusing solely on its upkeep for the past 17 years,” he said. “We have reaped the rewards.”
Pass the torch
After 21 years, the Hansens have put the five-bedroom, four-bathroom home up for sale.
“We lived happily here, raising our kids before they went off to college, but that doesn’t match where we are now,” Jack said. “We now have a house by the lake, and our other home is the rest of the world. We now have time to do things that we didn’t do before when we were working.”
The Hansens hope that future owners will appreciate the outdoor and indoor living spaces.
“There’s a landing in the stairs and you take two more steps and there’s a bench looking out over the landscape. It’s a great place to sit and read,” Jack said. “My daughter’s bedroom also had a space like this.”
The turret rooms – the living room, master bedroom and finished attic – were also some of their favorite spaces in this intimate home.
“That’s what we found great about this house: it’s big, but it doesn’t feel cold, or too big, or lacking in privacy,” Jack said. “Cass Gilbert has carved it out with benches and seating areas and landings to make it intimate. It has all these special nooks and crannies.”
And they felt honored to live in such a unique home designed by a renowned architect.
“The entry hall has an archway, which is very Cass Gilbert. The turret windows in the living room are amazing. The dining room is beautiful,” Joan said, adding that the house has a relaxed yet formal. “It’s a Victorian farmhouse and a little more laid back than you think of when you think of a traditional Victorian. The woodwork isn’t as ornate as some of the Summit Victorians.”
They added that the neighborhood is as classic as the house itself.
“It’s a wonderful place to raise your family. It’s a small enclave without a lot of activity. There’s a little park across the street,” Jack said. “That hasn’t changed much over the years.”
Marti Estey ([email protected]; 651-696-0855) of Reidell-Estey & Associates for RE/MAX Results has the $1.295 million SEO.