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Saturday, July 9, 2016


(Yes I know it's Saturday but I was having trouble posting this yesterday)

One of my favorite places in Minneapolis, is 300 Clifton, a restored Georgian Revial mansion that is now a bed and breakfast. The mansion has a wonderful story and history, but what is perhaps the most intriguing is its conversion from a Victorian Queen Anne style mansion to an amazing Georgian Rival home. Since this is Flashback Friday, I'm flashing back to May, when I attended the Preservationist: 300 Clifton event at this beautiful home.

John gave a wonderful presentation of the history of the Carpenter Mansion.

The Mansion was originally built in 1887 by C. M. Douglas, who was the owner of a coal delivery business.  As I mention the original design was in the popular Queen Anne style, complete with grand porches and a turret. Three years later, in 1890, the house passed to prominent banker, Harvey Brown, who lived there until his death in 1904.

Merrette Carpenter.

Following Brown's death, the mansion was purchased by Eugene and Merrette Carpenter in November of 1905.  The Carpenters owned Carpenter-Lamb Lumber Company, and needed a home to reflect their success. By the early 1900's the beautiful Victorian designs had fallen out of favor, and so the Carpenters hired an up-and-coming young architect named Edwin Howley Hewitt, to take on the monumental task of converting the mansion to the more popular Georgian Revival style. No small feat to undertake.

Eugene Carpenter.

Hewitt turned this beautiful Queen Anne Victorian Home . . .

. . . Into this amazing Georgian Rival mansion.

A vist the 300 Clifton's web page, and we learn that, "Hewitt removed the roof, moved fireplaces, built additional foundations, moved interior and exterior walls and rebuilt the the carriage house from the foundation up all in time for the family to move in by September 1906, 10 months after the purchase." Even by today's standards that timeframe is impressive.

After surviving several owners over the years, the mansion was eventually partitioned into several smaller apartments, and was later converted into office space as part of a larger complex. Finally, by the 1990's the home had fallen into considerable disrepair, and members of the Loring neighborhood group (Citizens for a Loring Park Community) decided to paint the house, rebuild the twenty-foot retaining wall, and invest $30,000 dollars to fix the roof, in an attempt to save the building.

I finally got to meet this Instagram friend in person. Such an awesome lady.

In 2006, John Steele, who saw the house's potential as a residence again, came onboard to help with the restoration, by painstakingly restoring woodwork, reestablishing the original floorplan, and undertaking several other major jobs.  In 2013 John and Norman Kulba purchased the property with the intent of finishing the restoration, and creating the beautiful bed and breakfast space it is today.

I was first introduced to 300 Clifton last December when I attended holiday fundraiser there sponsored by Citizens for a Loring Park Community, and I immediately fell in love with the home. The Preservationist: 300 Clifton event, was designed to create awareness of the need to save and restore the beautiful old mansions of Loring Hill.  John shared in-depth information on the home's history, and about the need to save and preserve the few remaining homes of Minneapolis' early leading citizens.

300 Clifton is one of the most beautiful homes in Minneapolis, and provides a welcoming and hospitable space to all who visit. I definitely encourage you stop by or attend one of the many events they host throughout the year. John and Norman are always happy to share the Carpenter Mansions story with you.

***What are the great bed and breakfast venues in your community?

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