William Butler House, 516 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota

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William Butler House

Photo taken 2001
Address: 516 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Ramsey County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1914
Primary Style: Mission Revivalwarning.png"Mission Revival" is not in the list of possible values (A-Frame, American Four-Square, Art Deco/Art Moderne, Arts and Crafts/Craftsman, Beaux Arts, Bungalow/Bungaloid, Cape Cod, Carpenter Gothic, Chateauesque, Classical Revival, Colonial Revival, Commercial, Dome, Dutch Colonial, Eastlake/Stick Style, Federalist, Folk, French Renaissance, Georgian, Gothic, Gothic Revival, Greek Revival, International, Italian Renaissance, Italianate, Mission, Modern, Neoclassical, Neoeclectic, Post Modern, Prairie School, Queen Anne, Ranch, Renaissance Revival, Richardsonian Romanesque, Rustic, Second Empire, Shingle, Southwest, Spanish Revival, Tudor Revival, Vernacular, Victorian, Victorian Gothic, Other) for this property.
Secondary Style: Classical Revival
Historic Function: Single Dwellingwarning.png"Single Dwelling" is not in the list of possible values (House/single dwelling or duplex, Airport terminal, Apartments/condominiums, Auditorium/music facility, Bank/financial institution, Barn/agricultural building, Business, Capitol , City hall/town hall/, Civic, Clinic/medical office, Clubhouse, College/university, Correctional facility, Courthouse, Dancehall/reception area, Department store, Drive-in restaurant or business, Energy facility, Fire/police station, Fortification, Gas/filling station, Government office, Grain elevator, Hospital, Hotel/motel, Institutional housing, Library, Manufacturing facility, Meeting hall, Military facility, Mortuary/funeral home, Multiple dwelling, Museum, Office, Organizational, Park building, Post office, Public works, Rail-related, including depots, Ranger station, Religious/Place of worship, Religious facility, other, Resort/spa, Restaurant, Sanitarium, School, Shopping center/mall/strip mall, Secondary building/sheds, privies, Sports facility/stadium, Theater/concert hall, Warehouse/storage, Other) for this property.
Builder: Butler Brothers
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
Building Permit Number: 63489
First Owner: William Butler
Notes: Sinclair Lewis lived here in 1917-1918

Saint Paul Ramsey

William Butler House, 516 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota
(44.941292,-93.121827warning.png"44.941292.-93.121827" is not a number. )

The house was built by Butler Brothers Company, a building firm founded in 1877 by William Butler, first owner of the home, and brothers Walter and Cooley Butler. Brothers John and Emmett joined the business in 1894. Walter Butler resigned in 1927 and established his own company, Walter Butler Company.



The William Butler family owned this home for thirty years. However they apparently leased the house to author Sinclair Lewis, who lived there from 1917 to 1918.

"Sinclair Lewis lived at 516 from the fall of 1917 to spring 1918. He skied, skated, partied with the elite and worked on his play Hobohemia, which went on to an 11-week run in New York" (Kelly, Thomas)

"Sinclair Lewis was living here in 1917-1918, while attempting to write a novel about J.J. Hill which he never completed" (Sandeen, Ernest R.)

Memories and stories

Photo Gallery

Related Links


    Ramsey County Historical Society, Inventory forms for Historic Sites Survey of St. Paul and Ramsey County, 1980-1983 Sandeen, Ernest R., St. Paul's Historic Summit Avenue (St. Paul: Living Historical Museum, Macalester College, 1978) Kelly, Thomas. "The Grand Houses of Summit Avenue." Ford Times 70:5 (May 1977).

    Personal tools
    [http://discussions.mnhs.org/HP/oneonone.cfm snubnosed]