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Saint Paul, MN Real Estate News

By Jennifer Kirby, The Luxury Agent
(Kirby Fine Homes)
If you have always wanted to see a newly restored historic home in St Paul, now is your chance!From now until June 17, the Cass Gilbert designed home at 318 Summit Avenue will be open for tours almost everyday. It is the American Society of Interior Designers showcase home this year and a lot of work has been put into the home. In case you don't know alot about the home, see my post on Summit Avenue Historic Homes, where each week I highlight one home on the Avenue in St Paul.You can tour the home at your leisure, pay to attend a guided Historic Tour, or attend a Wine & Dine event on Wednesday and Saturday evenings. Author Larry Millet will be giving a presentation in June, and on select Sundays, enjoy an acoustic concert. Check out the event calendar and purchase tickets by visiting th...
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By Jennifer Kirby, The Luxury Agent
(Kirby Fine Homes)
This weeks showcase Historic Home in St Paul is 275 Summit Ave.Common to many lots on Summit Avenue, another home stood on this spot from 1880-1895. It was consumed by fire in 1895 during the winter and torn down, making way for the current home to be built on the lot in 1901. Built by Charles Schuneman at a cost of $18,000 and designed by C.H. Johnston, the home is built of limestone and sits on a wonderful corner lot. Johnston is known for having designed over 30 homes on the avenue and probably holds the record for most homes built at the turn of the century.The home is is known to some as "Medieval" in style, as its design does not fit into most conventional nineteenth century architectural textbooks. It has many Gothic attributes like the arch seen in the side window and the capita...
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By Jennifer Kirby, The Luxury Agent
(Kirby Fine Homes)
  This weeks showcase Historic Home is 344 Summit Avenue.In 1886 a large stone house was built on this site and had a beautiful corner tower. However, when the property was sold to Watson Davidson in 1914, the home was torn down to make way for what currently stands here today. In its place, the Davidsons built in the Beaux Arts style, a Tudor manor house. What is known about the home is Thomas Holyoke designed it at a cost of $40,000. Holyoke had been a draftsman for the famous Cass Gilbert and was urged to learn the style on his own. The home has about 20,000 square feet, four floors, and a beautiful facade. It has been occupied by the School of the Associated Arts since 1961 and is now called the College of Visual Arts. It took me a few minutes to get the photo due to so many student...
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By Jennifer Kirby, The Luxury Agent
(Kirby Fine Homes)
  This weeks Historic Showcase Home is 445 Summit Ave.Know as the Shipman-Greve house, the home has been described by some as the perfect example of the Queen Anne style. Construction began in 1882 by Henry Shipman. For some reason lost through time, he was unable to complete the home, so Herman Greve, a local real estate broker at the time, purchased the home and finished it in 1883. In 1912, the home was bought by Frank Ford who added the iron fence and the west wing as seen in the photos.It is easy to see the Queen Anne details in the spindle work, gables, half-timbering, and lattice design. The home has a Japanese flair to it making it truly one of a kind. The architect is unknown and research has shown no other similar work in St Paul. Construction materials include limestone, a se...
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By Teresa Boardman
(Boardman Realty)
Located in the historic brick Louise building, built in 1885  271 7th St W, St Paul, 55102, three blocks from my home.  Cravings is my favorite office and the coffee is good too.  The  WiFi is always on, always working and very fast. A great place to write blog posts, meet with clients and talk to neighbors. My favorite table, by the window.  I love to sit here in the winter because the building faces south and is much warmer than my home office.  I should post my office hours, if you see me sitting at my virtual desk wave. Also see Grandma's AticPosted Courtesy of St. Paul Real Estate Blog.com 
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By Jennifer Kirby, The Luxury Agent
(Kirby Fine Homes)
If you have been following my series on Historic Homes here on Active Rain, you will notice this home is quite different from the others. The fact that it was built some 30-40 years later than others is one thing, but don't blame the house, another home used to occupy the spot and that home was one of the oldest on the Avenue.This weeks showcase Historic Home is 294 Summit Ave.The original Italian villa home that was built in 1859 on this site was replaced by the current home in 1919. A beautiful representation of Georgian Revival, George F. Lindsay commissioned the home to be built and was designed by Parker, Thomas, and Rice, a known Boston architectural firm.Since its construction, the two ends of the home have been enclosed and an addition was added. Sitting on a half acre, this hom...
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By Teresa Boardman
(Boardman Realty)
Numbers from the RMLS, the data is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.  Pending homes are homes that have offers on them during the month of April. The absorption rate for St. Paul, is 5.9 months which is down from the high of just over seven months in January of 2007.    Related Posts:  Local Market Conditions and Homes Prices for Saint Paul, MN, and St. Paul and Minneapolis first quarter 2007 sales. Interest rates remain low, and have gone down slightly since February 2007, when the average reported by Freddie Mac was   6.34%.Posted courtesy of The St. Paul Real Estate Blog
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By Jennifer Kirby, The Luxury Agent
(Kirby Fine Homes)
This home really stands out on the Avenue as it is the only one with full front facade porch with huge columns. The fact it is all white also adds to its prominence.This weeks showcase Historic Home is 365 Summit Avenue.Built in 1891 by J.W. Bass and designed by James Knox Taylor (who also built two other homes with his partner Cass Gilbert), the Bass family lived in the home until 1903, when they exchanged homes with Chauncey Griggs.Once Griggs took possession, the home forever changed. Originally, the home was designed as a Queen Anne Victorian. If one looks closely, you can see the typical Victorian bay windows, four panel double hung windows, and double doors. Apparently, Griggs liked the Neoclassical look, so he changed the roof from gables to front facing, and added the full-heigh...
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By Jennifer Kirby, The Luxury Agent
(Kirby Fine Homes)
 Minnesota Historical Society Sells Rare Gem at ChristiesWhen the railroad baron James J. Hill bought a diamond and sapphire necklace for his wife in 1886 for a recorded amount of $2200, he probably never thought about what the single sapphire would fetch in 2007. Well this week the rare sapphire from Kashmir fetched an auction price of just over $3 Million.After Hill's death in 1916, the necklace was divided up among his six surviving daughters. The single sapphire, weighing 22.26 carats, was passed down to descendants and finally bequeathed to the Minnesota Historical Society in 2006. The sale sets a world record as most expensive sapphire ever sold. Proceeds will help to maintain the historic home for years to come.James J. Hill built the Great Northern railway, along with the Northe...
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By Jennifer Kirby, The Luxury Agent
(Kirby Fine Homes)
 This weeks showcase Historic Home is 318 Summit Ave.I was going to post this home upon completion of its current renovation, but since the Pioneer Press did a fantastic article recently regarding the current owners, I decided to highlight the home early, and then come back in May for more comments when renovations are scheduled to be finished.Built in 1893 by William H. Lightner for a sum of $24,000, the home was designed by the well known architect Cass Gilbert. Gilbert is credited with building a total of 8 homes on the Avenue. The home is a classic and simple representation of the Romanesque style, made famous by H.H. Richardson, in which the home is constructed of large, rough-cut stone. It is quite easy to recognize this architectural style on Summit Avenue in Saint Paul (approxim...
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By Teresa Boardman
(Boardman Realty)
Are black and white photos allowed?  I sure hope so.  I used to take pictures for a newspaper and they were black and whites.  over the years black and white film got harder and harder to come by and people would give me a dumb look when I wanted to get it developed.  I never used a digital camera before for black and whites and it just isn't the same but with a little practice it can be done.  I ran a post on St. Paul Real Estate Blog today in black and white and these are the pictures, and I added the pictures that I did not have room for.  There is one I would like to have a print of.  Will be interesting to see if the kiosk at the local cub store prints black and whites.
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By Jennifer Kirby, The Luxury Agent
(Kirby Fine Homes)
Visit Bandana Square in Saint PaulMy son loves trains. Loves them. Anytime he sees Thomas the Train, he gets really excited and just has to grab it. If we are driving and see a train, we must stop, roll the windows down, so he can see and hear it. Of course, we love to oblige him because it is just too cute.Last week I took my Wisconsin real estate class in St Paul, at a complex called Bandana Square. It is an old train station used at the turn of the century, and is currently used mostly for offices and a Best Western Hotel. The complex is on the National Registry of Historic Places. The Children's Museum was located here a few years ago too. It is a fantastic place to visit and see what an old train complex used to look like. Even though offices now reside inside, much of the origina...
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By Jennifer Kirby, The Luxury Agent
(Kirby Fine Homes)
This weeks featured Historic Home in St Paul is 649 Summit Ave.Built in 1874 by A G Manson, the home is a fantastic representation of Second Empire architectural design. Out of the four Second Empire homes built on Summit Avenue between 1867-1883, this is the only one still standing. Major features that distinguish this style are the Mansard roof with many dormers, brackets at the eaves, paired entry doors, and cresting along the roof line.The home sits on a beautiful third of an acre with a very simple but elegant landscape design. This home was at one time used as a Funeral Home, circa 1920. It was recently sold in late 2004 for $1,125,000. With about 4200 square feet, the home has 6 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. The previous owners restored the home to much of its original splendor, whil...
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By Mark R. Westpfahl REALTOR Broker, e-PRO® CNE® REALTOR® Minnesota Real Estate Broker
(Vexillum Realty - Eagan, St. Paul, Minneapolis and suburbs)
Stop by my open house in St. Paul this Sunday.Click here to see this Sunday's open:www.MarkWestpfahl.com/3257822Click here to see my other upcoming open houses:www.realty.tc/open_house_schedule.htm Buying a new home? Where would you like to move this spring?Stop by and visit my next open house. It's a great way to get familiar with the market when you're in the early stages of planning to buy or sell a house.  Happy househunting,--Mark Westpfahl 651-605-6480 office651.208.9848 or 1.800.706.9848 cell http://www.markwestpfahl.com/  email: Mark@Realty.tcRoseville Office 2803 Lincoln Drive Roseville, MN 55113 
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By Bonnie Erickson
(Tangletown Realty)
City mandated point of sale inspections are not done in many communities, but they are rapidly becoming more popular in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area.  The theory behind point of sale inspections is that the inspections prevent neighborhoods from deteriorating by maintaining a minimum standard of housing maintenance.  For many years cities did not require inspections in order to sell.  Minneapolis had a disclosure inspection which only marked items as B (below minimum), M (meets minimum standards), H (hazardous), and C (comment).  There were no required repairs as there are today.  With "code compliance" or required repairs, the seller has no choice but to make certain repairs before selling their home.  Most point of sale inspections locally are moving to required repairs or compli...
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By Jennifer Kirby, The Luxury Agent
(Kirby Fine Homes)
This weeks showcase historic home is 295 Summit Avenue.The home was built in 1885 by Albert H. Lindeke for a cost of $13,000 and designed by architect A.F. Gauger. The home was recently listed for sale at $1,275,000 and has been off and on the market for the last six years, but with no buyers. The current owners have converted the home into 4 condo units, but say it can easily return to single family. I do believe there is still some work that needs to be done to the home, and as you can see the exterior still needs some renovation.I have found two photos of the home, one is from 1902, the other is from 1973. Originally built as a Queen Anne, the exterior had a wood porch that covered just the front entrance tower. In 1903, this tower and porch were removed and the current full facade s...
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By Jennifer Kirby, The Luxury Agent
(Kirby Fine Homes)
Here is my second favorite home on Summit Avenue in St Paul, Minnesota, photo taken fall of 2006. You can only imagine how grand the home appeared on a dirt street with carriage houses in the rear and servants coming and going in the late 1800's. These homes sit high up on a hill and overlook downtown St Paul. I wonder what it was like to look up at them as a commoner? Probably the same type of awe I feel in 2007 when I look at them too!This weeks spotlight historic home is 432 Summit AvenueThe Burbank-Livingston-Griggs is the second oldest home still standing on the avenue and was built by James Burbank in 1862. It is constructed of Mendota Limestone and was designed by Otis E. Wheelock of Chicago.The home is a fantastic representation of the Italianate style that was very popular from...
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By Jennifer Kirby, The Luxury Agent
(Kirby Fine Homes)
One of my real estate specialties is historic homes. Their prooven strength at surviving the elements of time inspires me, and "they just don't build them like that" any more. If you haven't been to Minneapolis and St Paul, then you are missing some of the most beautiful old homes you have ever seen. I have been posting a featured Historic Home each week this year on my Luxury Blog, and thought I would share them on AR as well. I will post one home each week so be sure to check in periodically. Enjoy!This weeks Showcase historic home is 495 Summit AvenueBuilt in 1881 by Cyrus B. Thurston, this home stands out on a beautiful corner lot and is one of the only homes on the avenue with an original date panel built into one of the gables. Originally the home was painted white and had a beaut...
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By Teresa Boardman
(Boardman Realty)
                                                                                         Last week I launched the St. Paul neighborhood wiki.  Very much a work in progess, lets call it beta. The idea came from my buyers who are relocating.  Our fair city has 17 districts and 127 neighborhoods, and 13 MLS districts.  This all creates a lot of confusion, so I am trying to organize the entire mess over time to make it easier.Wiki's are designed to be collaborative. The neighborhood pages can be edited by anyone with an account.  Assuming I have the security set up correctly, anyone can create an account on their own and I will be notified via email that they have. I am using media wiki, the same software that wikipedia is on, and am hosting it on my own server.  It took a few weeks between...
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By Teresa Boardman
(Boardman Realty)
History: Constructed: 1914 -1917Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1975 The Central Library is Italian Renaissance revival in style The exterior of the Library is of Tennessee marble, while the interior is finished in gray Mankato stone. Blue Rutland and golden vein Formosa marble are also used in select areas. The Saint Paul Public Library has been a Federal Depository Library since 1914More about the St. Paul Public Library and the JJ Hill Reference Library.   The  St. Paul Public Library is one of my favorite building in St. Paul.  Some of my earliest childhood memories include the children's room.  When I brought my own children for a visit I remember telling them they should look up.  The ceilings in the library are amazing.  Of course it is also a good place...
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