Bardwell-Ferrant House, 2500 Portland Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota

From Placeography

Jump to: navigation, search
Edit with form

Bardwell-Ferrant House

Bardwell-Ferrant House
Address: 2500 Portland Avenue S
Neighborhood/s: Phillips, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1883
Primary Style: Queen Anne
Secondary Style: Other
Major Alterations: Significant Alterations
Moved from Location: 1800 Park Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Historic Function: House/single dwelling or duplex
Current Function: Multiple dwelling
Architect or source of design: Carl Struck
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Wood
Material of Roof: Asphalt Shingles
Material of Foundation: Limestone
First Owner: Charles S. Bardwell

Phillips Minneapolis Hennepin

Bardwell-Ferrant House, 2500 Portland Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota
(44.957299° N, 93.267659° WLatitude: 44°57′26.276″N
Longitude: 93°16′3.572″W
National Register of Historic Places Information
Reference Number: 84001416

The Bardwell-Ferrant house was built in 1883 by Charles S. Bardwell, a professional carpenter and co-owner of the Bardwell-Robinson Sash, Door and Millwork Company in North Minneapolis.

Due to Bardwell's profession, the parquet floors, staircases, molding, door and window frames and fireplace mantels in the house are of exceptional design and quality.

In 1981 City Planner Camille Kudzia described the house in a nomination form for the National Register of Historic Places.

"The two storey frame structure is rectangular in plan and sits upon a limestone foundation. Wooden lattice work shields the foundation from view on the north side of the building. The home's modest Queen Anne stylistic elements are still observable in the south facing rectangular bay with open balcony above, scroll shaped eave brackets and patterned brick chimney."[1]

In 1890 Bardwell sold the house to Emil Ferrant. Ferrant was the son of Martin Ferrant, one of the original settlers of Minneapolis. Emil worked with a publishing firm Smith and Scribner and a lithography company. He also acquired real estate.

In 1876 the first World's Fair; the Centennial Exhibition, was held in Philadelphia and featured ornamental gardens with Oriental and Moorish structures. Washington Irving's writings on the Alhambra in Spain also inspired interest in Moorish design.

Ferrant hired Norwegian architect Carl F. Struck to enhance the Bardwell house in the 1890s. Either Ferrant or Struck had the idea of adding Moorish towers, a flower shaped porch with delicate spiral posts and stained glass with brilliant colors. Although Struck’s ornamentation for the towers, was inspired by Moorish symbols, the birds and hearts show a Scandinavian influence, like a Norwegian version of the Tales of the Arabian Nights.

The woodwork for the new additions to the house could have been made at the Bardwell-Robinson factory. The stained glass windows could have been made locally as well.

Camille Kudzia described the Moorish additions to the house:

"Stuck's design fused Moorish adornments onto the original modest building creating an exotic architectural fantasy. Two onion domed towers, sheathed in pressed metal and roofed with sheet copper, were added on the north façade. The western-most dome rises about a curved bay at the first storey level creating a two storey curvilinear shape to the north façade. Arch transom windows filled with stained glass caps each of the four sash windows, and at the dome's upper level are half moon stained glass windows. The dome at the northeast corner of the house rises from the second storey level creating an ogee arch open balcony..."[1]

In 1898, Ferrant moved the Bardwell-Ferrant house from 1800 Park to 2500 Portland.

The house was owned by other prominent businessmen, but as the neighborhood changed, the house became a run down rooming house and its condition deteriorated.

In 1971, a young Charles Nelson, the Minnesota Historical Society's first state architect, noticed the house and recommended that the City of Minneapolis consider it for local designation. This did not happen until 13 years later in 1983!

By 1984 the Bardwell-Ferrant house was vacant, the roof was leaking, the porch was sagging and the furnace was broken. Mary Lou Maxwell and her friend Jean Stewart bought the house with the objective of restoring it.

Mary Lou Maxwell was the daughter of an Atlanta architect Arthur Norman Canton. She had renovated several houses in West Phillips and had been interested in the Bardwell-Ferrant house long before it was for sale. Her friend Jean Stewart was a social worker with the St. Paul School district. Maxwell and Stewart assembled a great team to renovate the house.

Architect Rolf Lokensgard restored original historic features while adding modern elements to divide the house into four apartments.

Peter Holly, a master woodcarver and wood turner recreated the exotic flower shape of the wrap around porch, and its delicate spiral columns and then surrounded it with a porch skirt with fanciful cut out designs...Peter's work can also be seen on the Healy block at 31st and 2nd Ave. in Minneapolis where he still lives.

Ron Pfeiffer, a stained glass artist, designed windows using colors inspired by the remaining original windows and added his own jeweled flourishes.

Maxwell and Stewart used Federal tax credits, a grant from Honeywell and their own money to restore the house. They painted it a lovely ashes of roses and highlighted all of Struck's Moorish details with contrasting colors. The house was granted local historic designation by the City of Minneapolis in 1983 and was entered into the National Register of Historic places in 1984. It also won a preservation award from the City of Minneapolis in 1986.[1]

After Maxwell and Stewart sold the house in 2001, a series of landlords did little to maintain the building. In 2004 City of Minneapolis Inspections ordered the owner to paint the house. The paint did little to stop the progress of the wood rot on the restored porch.

In August 2008 the house was foreclosed by Country Wide Financial. All the tenants were evicted. The moment the house was vacant, thieves broke in. They stole 3 of the 4 original fireplace mantels and cracked and shattered both modern and original stained glass windows in an attempt to steal them.

They also broke open the baseboard heaters to take out the copper pipes, but were interrupted before they could do it.

Local preservation activist Connie Nompelis alerted the media to the condition of the house and got the front doors secured to protect the house from intrusion.[1]

In a neighborhood of impressive historic homes, the Bardwell-Ferrant house is unique. The triumph of its 1980s restoration makes the neglect and violence this beautiful, fragile building has experienced in the 2000s even more tragic. Due to the isolation of the house and the dangerous conditions of the neighborhood, it’s future remains uncertain.


Memories and stories

Photo Gallery

Related Links

American Architecture of Moorish Inspiration

The Bric-a-Brac styles by Charles Nelson, 1999

Bardwell-Ferrant House Wikipedia

Strib Covers Bardwell-Ferrant

Connie Nompelis at the Bardwell-Ferrant House

For Sale Historic House needing TLC

Historic House Attracts Potential Buyers


65}px This place is part of the
Moorish Revival Style


    Personal tools
    [ snubnosed]