Armstrong-Quinlan House, 227 Eagle Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota

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Armstrong-Quinlan House

House at original location, 2001
House at new location, 2005
Address: 227 Eagle Street
Neighborhood/s: West 7th, Saint Paul, Minnesota, Irvine Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Ramsey County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1886
Primary Style: Queen Anne
Secondary Style: Richardsonian Romanesque
Moved from Location: West 6th Street
Historic Function: Apartments/condominiums
Historic Function: Nursing Home
Other Historic Function: Nursing Home
Current Function: Apartments/condominiums
Architect or source of design: Edward P. Bassford
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
First Owner: John Milton Armstrong

West 7th, Irvine Park Saint Paul Ramsey

Armstrong-Quinlan House, 227 Eagle Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota
(44.941321° N, 93.100898° WLatitude: 44°56′28.756″N
Longitude: 93°6′3.233″W



Built in 1886, the J. M. Armstrong House was located on the edge of downtown’s business district in a bustling residential and business neighborhood.

The community grew rapidly as Saint Paul’s population jumped from 41,473 in 1880 to 140,392 in 1895. New immigrants, often laborers or tradesmen, created a demand for affordable rental housing.

Recognizing a good opportunity, John Milton Armstrong hired Edward Payson Bassford, a noted local architect (he designed the second Minnesota State Capitol), to design a side-by-side duplex for use as income property on land inherited from his late brother George.

For almost 60 years, various tenants lived in the red brick house at 233-235 West Fifth Street. The Armstrong family owned the house until 1943, but did not live in it. In 1943, the Armstrong family sold to John and Dorothy Bloomquist.

Gordon and Helen Larson purchased the house in 1948 and converted it into Key Hospital for Recovering Alcoholics. The following year, Bertha Quinlan bought the house and turned it into the Quinlan Nursing Home. In the early 1950s the house was returned to the Larsons who continued to manage the nursing home. Laura and David Reynolds purchased the house in 1982, operating it as a board and care facility for seven years, until it was acquired by the State of Minnesota.

By the mid-1950s, commercial establishments overtook the neighborhood, and ultimately the distinctive house became the only residence in the area. In the late 1980s, the businesses near the house on Cleveland Circle moved and their buildings were demolished.

In 1983, local historic preservationists, alarmed about the fate of the house, succeeded in having The J. M. Armstrong House placed on The National Register of Historic Places. Soon after the house was designated a Saint Paul Heritage Preservation Site.

In 1987, the State of Minnesota bought the house as a potential site for the Minnesota Center For The Arts Education. When a different site was selected, it fell into disrepair, steadily deteriorated and was boarded up.

The City of Saint Paul bought the property in 2000, pledging to preserve and relocate the house. In early 2001, the City choose a site at Eagle Parkway and Shepard Road in the Irvine Park Historic District as the house’s new location.[1]

Memories and stories

The Big Move, Nov. 5th - 14th, 2005

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