George J. Reed House, 3416-18 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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George J. Reed House

3416-18 Park Avenue - 2008
First Annual Historic Park Avenue Walking Tour - Summer 2008
Address: 3416 Park Avenue
Neighborhood/s: Central, Minneapolis, Minnesota
City/locality-
State/province
Minneapolis, Minnesota
County-
State/province:
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1894
Primary Style: Queen Anne
Secondary Style: Shingle
Historic Function: House/single dwelling or duplex
Current Function: House/single dwelling or duplex
Builder: L. E. Morris
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Wood
Material of Roof: Asphalt Shingles
Material of Foundation: Limestone
First Owner: George J. Reed
Part of the Site: Park Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Central Minneapolis Hennepin County


INTRODUCTION

According to Minneapolis building permits, a very small, simple frame dwelling and barn were built on this parcel of land as early as 1884. At that time, much of this stretch of Park Avenue was still being used as farmland and pastures. By 1894, however, the area had become an attractive suburban development of large, grand homes for the primarily upper-middle class businessman of the booming downtown business district. As a result, this parcel's original, modest structures were torn down and replaced by the large, elaborate Queen Anne seen here. Construction of the current structure was completed in June of 1894 by Builder L. E. Morris at a total cost of $3,824.


ORIGINAL OWNER

According to Minneapolis City Directories and Census records, Mr. and Mrs. George J. Reed were the home's first owners. George Reed was a Foreman for the James Baxter & Son Co. The firm contracted stonework for the construction of many important commercial and residential buildings in Minneapolis, including the Senator W. D. Washburn "Fair Oaks" mansion formerly at 22nd Street and Stevens Avenue. Due to George Reed's line of business, it is likely that 3416-18 Park Avenue's limestone foundation stonework may have been a James Baxter & Son contract as well.


ARCHITECTURAL STYLE

3416-18 Park Avenue is a fine example of high-end Queen Anne architecture. The elaborate facade typifies Queen Anne asymmetry, from the unusual false double front gables to the three-story tower, and cutaway bays to Oculus windows. Of particular interest is the large belt course of shingles that run horizontally around the middle of the house and the half timbering below which reflect strong Shingle- and Stick-style influences, rare for a Park Avenue home. The three-story tower is particularly impressive, with each level boasting dramatically different architectural details, from curved clapboard to fish scale shingles, all topped off by a decorative copper finial.

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