1012-14 17th Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota
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|Address:||1014 17th Avenue N|
|Neighborhood/s:||Old Highland, Minneapolis, Minnesota|
|Hennepin County, Minnesota|
|Historic Function:||House/single dwelling or duplex|
|Current Function:||House/single dwelling or duplex|
|Architect or source of design:||Boehm & Cordella|
|Material of Exterior Wall Covering:||Brick|
|Material of Roof:||Asphalt Shingles|
|Material of Foundation:||Limestone|
|Building Permit Number:||64221|
|First Owner:||Vincent (Vinzent) Schuler|
Window condition: Original to structure.
2.5 stories; brick cladding; symmetrical façade dominated by full- height porch with roof supported by Ionic columns; entry porch has classical pediment and gabled roof; small porthole in pediment; boxed eaves with moderate overhang (used to have brackets under all eaves; brackets only visible in pediment); narrow frieze band; 3 hipped dormers on east, north, and west facades; brick coursework above windows and stone sash below; 1st story has new porch railings.
The Vinzent Schuler House (1012-14 17th Avenue North) was built in 1905 by Joseph Lang Contractors at a cost of $5000 for Vincent Schuler. The house was also wired for electricity in 1905, and during the recent restoration of this property in 2009 by Jack and Jean Mangan, the overhead lights in the dining rooms were still set for a dual source of energy (gas and electric.)
This property was designed as a natural duplex, and it has remained a duplex throughout its years. The architects for this property were Boehme and Cordelia. Boeme and Cordelia were well known. Christopher Boehme designed the Turnblad home, now the American Swedish Institute. They also designed the Glueck building at 16 north 6th Street in downtown Minneapolis. They also were the architects for two other National Register properties: the James Hosmer Library at 347 E. 36th St, and the Thompson Summner House at 3012 Shoreline Dr in Minnetonka Beach.
The Minneapolis city directory for 1885 shows that Vinzent (sic) Schuler first lived at “Right lower levee foot, South 4th.” He was an employee of “Heinrich B Assoc.” A Minneapolis Public Library search revealed that Vincent Schuler married Anna Rodele in 1893.
In 1889, Vincent opened Schuler Shoes on the corner of Washington and Broadway Avenues. A newspaper article said that Vincent’s wife Rodele kept a diary, reporting on a day to day basis how the business was doing and what the weather was like. Schuler Shoes is one of the oldest family owned stores in Minneapolis. It remains a family business with 8 Schuler Shoe Stores in the Minneapolis metro area.
In the 1940s William Lundstrom and his daughter Dorothy lived at in the lower duplex (1012 17th Avenue North.) William was the head of grounds and maintenance at nearby Ascension Church, School and Ascension Club. Dorothy, his daughter, was a well known dance instructor. For over 80 years, she mentored thousands of students, teaching positive behavior, self-worth, and good citizenship, as well as dance and movement at the Ascension Club, located some 120 feet to the East on Dupont Avenue N. Dorothy passed away in 1998, and the center moved from Ascension Club (called Ascension Place) in 2004.
The Lundstrom Center for the Performing Arts is now located three blocks away in a state of the art facility, which opened in 2006. They provide professional expertise in music, voice, dance and acting for the stage and camera.
The Schuler House was bought by Jack and Jean Mangan in 2009 after it fell into disrepair, and was vacant, boarded and condemned. The majority of the windows on the first floor were broken by vandals, and two of the doors had been seriously damaged by trespassers during its vacancy. The windows were boarded a few at a time by the city of Minneapolis and each time a bit more was stolen.
The city came out 6 separate times trying to secure the property. By the time Jack closed on the property, the stained glass windows from both dining rooms had been stolen, as well as 2 leaded glass windows in the front of the house. Most of the solid brass door knobs and escutcheons had been stolen. Plumbing had been stolen for the copper; portions of the wiring had also been stolen.
Jack had walked by this duplex for two decades, admiring it, but thinking he would never be able to afford such a beautiful house. During the housing foreclosure crisis, the house came on the market, and he was able to buy the duplex he had so admired.
The duplex has an adjacent lot where a previous house had been demolished. This vacant lot had a large amount of concrete debris (over 2000 pounds.) When they realized they owned this vacant lot, Jean went in search of blades of grass. She was not sure that she could find 10 blades of genuine grass in the side yard—anything green was a weed. They started over by tilling the yard, planting grass seed, and putting up an antique style fence.
During the 1930s, the house had been “modernized.” The downstairs cove molding had been removed from the dining room and living room. The crown molding and “eybrow” were also removed from the top of every window and door. The natural plaster ceilings were covered with square tile. The woodwork had been painted in all of the rooms on the first floor. The woodwork in the entry way, living room and dining room was painted a garish yellow-green.
Another re-decorating feature from the 1930s was the removal of hardwood trim from the arch between the entry way and dining room and the arch between the living room and the dining room. The arches had been lowered significantly, and modified in a Spanish style theme typical in California bungalow houses as seen in 1930’s movies. This was done using a mail order kit available from Sears or Wards. Jack replaced the all the crown molding, the eyebrow and the cove molding, restored the arches and once again replaced wood trim to frame them as they looked in 1905. They also restored and saved the original cabinetry in both kitchens and both bathrooms. All the brass doorknobs and escutcheons were replaced with fixtures appropriate to 1905.
Jean stripped 5 layers of wall paper from many of the walls along with layers of enamel paint and plaster between the layers of wallpaper. She also stripped the hardwood baseboards and door trim in the front entry way, the dining room, the living room, and the kitchen. Jack put up a tin ceiling which gave the kitchen a nice antique look.
Jack and Jean finally got the house out of condemnation and rented to two lovely sets of tenants in June and July of 2010.
Memories and stories
Vincent Schuler in his original shoe store at Washington and Broadway Avenues in Minneapolis.
Dorothy Lundstron with a student.
 Historical Building Permit for 1012 - 1014 17th Avenue North
Official website of the The American Swedish Institute
In your opinion, where is the most interesting place in Old Highland? Why?
If you could tell someone moving here one thing about this community, what would you tell them?
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