DeVries House, 4735 Lake Harriet Parkway E, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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DeVries House, 4735 Lake Harriet Parkway E, Minneapolis, Minnesota

4735 Lake Harriet Pkwy E in 2008
Original owner, Dr. Bernard G. DeVries, in his library at 4735 Lake Harriet Pkwy E
Address: 4735 Lake Harriet Parkway E
Neighborhood/s: Lynnhurst, Minneapolis, Minnesota
City/locality-
State/province
Minneapolis, Minnesota
County-
State/province:
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1925
Primary Style: Tudor Revival
Additions: Additional garage stall (1980s?)

Second-story "great room" above garage (2003-04)

Historic Function: House/single dwelling or duplex
Current Function: House/single dwelling or duplex
Architect or source of design: Stebbins, Haxby, and Bissell
Builder: C. A. Davis
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
Material of Roof: Wood Shingle
Material of Foundation: Concrete
Building Permit Number: B 188798
First Owner: Bernard G. and Mildred DeVries
Notes: State Historic Preservation Office Inventory Number: HE-MPC-8925

Lynnhurst Minneapolis Hennepin County

DeVries House, 4735 Lake Harriet Parkway E, Minneapolis, Minnesota
(44.9173413° N, 93.2995999° WLatitude: 44°55′2.429″N
Longitude: 93°17′58.56″W
)


The Tudor Revival-style house at 4735 Lake Harriet Parkway East was built in 1925 on the southeast side of Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. The neighborhood, referred to as Lynnhurst, is approximately five miles southwest of the central business district and consists of similarly well-maintained, pre-war period revival houses amid mature trees and hedges.

The house stands on a flat lot, roughly the shape of a baseball diamond, at the northeast corner of Lake Harriet Parkway East and Minnehaha Parkway West. The house is situated at the rear of the lot—as if at home plate—with its front door facing the broadest expanse of lawn toward the busy intersection and the lake beyond.

At 4,000 finished square feet, the two-and-one-half story house is comparable in size to its immediate neighbors. However, the exterior veneer of light-colored clinker brick distinguishes it. Two steeply-pitched gables of unequal size grace the front façade, the larger of which terminates in a low slope over a first-floor sunroom.

Notable interior features are floor tiles of Kasota limestone, unglazed Nemadji tiles, and encaustic terra cotta “deco” tiles. The living room has approximately 60 light bulbs hidden in a cove around the perimeter of the ceiling and controlled by a bank of switches, so that light could be “dimmed” by switching off various sockets. Painted in the 1950s and restored, in the 2000s, cast stone (?) fireplace surround in the living room features a relief of thistle blooms and leaves. Small-paned leaded windows in the dining room and living room include some leaded designs of figures in period dress. In the first floor hallway, two original light fixtures have an acorn and acorn leaf motif.

Changes to the house include a second garage stall constructed in the 1980s. The kitchen was gutted and remodeled. At some point, the original Nemadji floor tiles and terra cotta decos in the dining room were covered in cherry parquet, which was later removed in the 2000s. Other changes to the dining room include replacement of leaded glass doors to the built in shelves, replacement of the center light fixtures, and painting the stained woodwork. At some point, the first floor screened-in porch was enclosed, a bedroom on the second floor was converted to a master bathroom, and a 2nd floor exterior doorway was created to exit onto a wooden walkway leading to the roof of the garage. Additionally, a gun case in the 1st floor study was converted to a wet bar. Most windows are original, but storm windows replaced non-original storm windows in the 2000s. Exterior wood trim, later clad in aluminum, was also uncovered and restored in the 2000s.

In 2003-2004, an addition above the old and new sections of garage was constructed. The owners were inspired by an unrealized architectural plan, drawn by a predecessor of the original architectural firm in the 1940s, which intended to add a bedroom above the original garage. The owners chose to create a “great room,” of sorts, for watching TV and casual entertaining, thereby preserving the living room’s more formal character.

2003-04 Addition over Garage Architect: TEA2 (Tom Ellison and John Enloe)

Contractor: Kraemer and Sons (Project Mgr: Chris Herzog)

Contents

History

The firm of Stebbins, Haxby & Bissell designed this house for Mildred O. and Bernard G. De Vries. Robert V. L. Haxby likely was Mildred’s brother (see interview notes with Dirk De Vries 9/4/2003). The 1925 architectural plans, including plans for later alterations, are in the Bissell, Belair and Green papers at the Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota - Minneapolis.

The1930 Minneapolis City Directory lists Dr. De Vries as an orthodontist whose office address was at 703 Medical Arts Building in Minneapolis. According to a 1972 obituary, Dr. De Vries began his practice in 1915, later taking leadership positions in professional societies, and was named president of the American Association of Orthodontics in 1952. He also served as president of the Minneapolis Rotary Club and president of the Big Game Club of Minnesota, displaying his trophies in his wood-paneled study.

The Bernard and Mildred had three children, in order of birth: Bernard O., Dorianne, and Dirk. When Dirk was about 1 year old, a portrait of him and his siblings was painted by Edward Vincent Brewer (1883-1971). Brewer was a St. Paul portrait painter and, while working as an illustrator for Cream of Wheat, developed the Rastus character seen in the company’s advertising. Brewer also painted the portrait of Lincoln at the Minnesota State Capitol, as well as portraits of Minnesota governors.

The portrait below hung above the living room fireplace. It was based on poses photographed in the living room and outdoors near the south wall of the dining room.

For more information, see Inventory File No. HE-MPC-8925 at the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office, St. Paul, MN.

Memories and stories

Memory

There are unsubstantiated rumors that Bob Dylan once lived at the house. The closest connection was discovered in Summer 2005 when Bill Stewart of Muir Beach, CA, stopped to look at his childhood home at 4735 E. Lake Harriet Pkwy. Bill’s mother, Sylvia Cutter, was a good friend of Bob Dylan’s mother. Dr. De Vries was Bill’s orthodontist. Ms. Cutter and her husband bought the house from Bernard and Mildred De Vries in the 1960s. Bill remembers that a recording label executive lived two doors to the north on E. Lake Harriet Pkwy.

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Notes

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