2615 Park Avenue South Apartments, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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2615 Park Avenue Apartments

2615 Park Avenue Apartments, 1954
Address: 2615 Park Avenue S
Neighborhood/s: Philips West, Minneapolis, Minnesota
City/locality-
State/province
Minneapolis, Minnesota
County-
State/province:
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1930
Primary Style: Colonial Revival
Historic Function: Apartments/condominiums
Current Function: Apartments/condominiums
Architect or source of design: Martin Lindquist
Builder: Anderson-Nelson Company
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
First Owner: Twin City Building and Investment Company

Philips West Minneapolis Hennepin

2615 Park Avenue South Apartments, Minneapolis, Minnesota
(44.955255° N, 93.265124° WLatitude: 44°57′18.918″N
Longitude: 93°15′54.446″W
)


2615 Park Avenue was built in 1929 as a residential hotel and operates as a cooperative apartment building today. Building residents Mary Jo Thorsheim in Biography of a Building and John I. Holloran and James D. Welter in "2615 Park Avenue, A History" have written extensively about the apartment building; most of the information for this article comes from their works.

Contents

History

Construction

Carl Anton Anderson and Gustav Nelson were the builders of 2615 Park Avenue. In 1900, the two men emigrated from Sweden, where they had lived on neighboring farms. They originally settled in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and worked in the construction business, but after several years relocated to Minneapolis, where they established the Anderson-Nelson Construction Company. Anderson-Nelson mainly built apartments, including three apartment buildings at Park Avenue and 28th Street. In 1929, they began construction on the building at 2615 Park Avenue. The architect was Martin Lindquist, a Minneapolis native who had studied at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University and in addition to working as an architect, operated a flower shop. When the apartments opened in 1930 as a residential hotel, the building contained six floors with 120 units ranging from one bedroom to five bedrooms. To soundproof the building, the cavities between floors were filled with sand. The exterior of the building was designed in the Colonial revival style while the inside was furnished in the modern art-deco style. Set back from Park Avenue, the building featured a semi-circular driveway and expansive lawn. Large double entry doors opened into a lobby furnished with hand carved mahogany panels. The lobby has been well preserved and maintains the original paneling, woodcarvings, crown moldings, and light fixtures.

Residents
Park Avenue was a prestigious address when 2615 first opened. The first residents were mainly business owners, professionals, or in management positions, according to “Park Avenue, A History.” After the death of his wife in 1929, Swan Turnblad and his daughter, Lillian, moved to 2615 Park Avenue, which is located directly across Park Avenue from the Turnblad mansion. The Turnblads lived in the apartment until Swan passed away in 1933. In recent years, the majority of the building’s residents have been retirees, however the demographics have been changing. In 1997, the average age of residents was early fifties and residents included retirees along with interns and nurses from nearby Abbott Northwestern Hospital, young couples, older couples, doctors, lawyers and bankers, according to a Star Tribune article.
Businesses

In 1930, there was a restaurant, grocery store, and beauty parlor located at the 2615 apartments. John Hruza operated the grocery store in 1937 while his wife Mary ran the restaurant called the Tea Room. Mary also made baked goods, which were sold in the grocery store. In 1948, Loretta Wright bought the Tea Room and renamed it Loretta’s Tea Room. She developed many of the restraunt’s recipes herself and worked in the Tea Room into her seventies until she sold it in 1975. Loretta was born in South Dakota, where she managed a boarding house, and moved to Minneapolis in 1941. She was a member of the Business and Professional Woman’s Club and president of the Pilot Club of Minneapolis. The restaurant, which continued to be called Loretta’s Tea Room, closed in 1998. The grocery store was in operation under various owners until 1970 and a travel agency now occupies its former spot; the beauty parlor remains in operation.

Cooperative
In 1946, Anderson and Nelson’s company decided to sell 2615 Park Avenue. A group of the building’s residents, led by Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Loring formed a cooperative corporation to buy the building by selling stock to the residents. However, their attempt failed due to opposition from some residents who felt they were not provided with adequate information. In 1947, another group of residents was successful in turning the building into a cooperative. Anderson and Nelson’s company sold their shares of the apartment, which were then purchased by residents of 2615 Park Avenue. The building remains a co-op to this day. Instead of holding the titles to their apartments, residents own shares of the apartment building based on the square footage of their apartment. Residents own common areas like the lobby, veranda, and guest room collectively and pay an association cost that covers management and maintenance costs (“Co-op Toasts 50 Years of Cooperation").

Memories and stories

Photo Gallery

Related Links

[1]Website and history book

Notes

1. 2615 Park Avenue Website, http://2615parkavenue.com
2. Haga, Chuck. “Co-op Toasts 50 Years of Cooperation.” Star Tribune, July 27, 1997, 1B.
3. Holloran, James I and Welter, James D. Park Avenue, A History.[2]
4. Thorsheim, Mary Jo. “Biography of a Building.” Hennepin History 68 (2009): 18-27.[3]
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