Southways, 1400 Brackett's Point, Orono, Minnesota (Razed)

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[ Southways by Eleanor Lawler Pillsbury]
[ Southways by Eleanor Lawler Pillsbury]
[ My Family History by Eleanor Lawler Pillsbury]
== Notes ==
== Notes ==

Revision as of 21:10, September 25, 2018

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Southways Courtesy Karen Melvin
Eleanor Jerusha Lawler Pillsbury
Address: 1400 Brackett's Point
Orono, Minnesota
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1918
Year razed: 2018
Historic Function: House/single dwelling or duplex
Architect or source of design: Harrie T. Lindberg
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
First Owner: John S. Pillsbury

Orono Hennepin

Brackett's Point is named for George Brackett. He purchased the land in about 1880. On Brackett's point was one of the most if not the most expensive home in the State of Minnesota called Southways, which was built by John and Eleanor Pillsbury in 1918. It took several years to build, first because it was large, but second because it was built during World War I which made progress slow. The house was completed in May 1919.

Southways was completed in May 1919. One of the unusual things about this particular estate was that it was built as a summer house. The Southways Estate had a number of exclusive gardens. The ironwork was completed by Samuel Yellin, who was a master blacksmith. His granddaughter came out from Boston and redid the iron doors in 1991, in a peacock motif. The home was 32,000 square feet and had 9 bedrooms, 16 bathrooms and was on 33 acres.

Eleanor Pillsbury named the estate Southways because you had to go south a ways from the main road to get to the house. Harrie T. Lindeberg was the architect, and he was quite famous for designing and building country homes. Samuel Yellin created ornamental wrought iron elements for the exterior and interior of the home.

"A house can be elegant without being ostentatious," Eleanor, reportedly said of Southways, where she lived in until her death in 1991 at age 104.

In his book Minnesota's Own Preserving Our Grand Homes, Larry Millett wrote of Southways:

“The mansion demonstrates that the Pillsbury’s spent their money well, eschewing showy luxuries in favor of high quality materials and exquisite ornament. Because of its site on a narrow peninsula, the house in effect has two fronts overlooking the Lake---a fact that Lindeberg clearly recognized by designing two very different facades. The east side, which directly overlooks Brown's Bay and is very visible from the Lake, offers a classic red-brick version of Gerogian Revival, with a symmetrical center section flanked by projecting wings that once included second-floor sleeping porches. This façade is strikingly similar, except for the porches, to that of another Georgian home Lindeberg designed in 1914 on New Yorks’ Long Island. Lindeberg didn’t want the porches, but the Pillsburys, who knew the glories of summer nights in Minnesota, insisted on them.” [1]

Businessman Jim Jundt purchased Southways for $5 million in 1992. He and his wife renovated the house, adding new kitchens, bathrooms and a spa. In 2008, the house was listed for sale for $52 million, $24 million, and $7.9 million. That last price point reflected a subdivision of the 13-acre lot. The house was for sale for a decade, but did not sell until purchased in August 2018 by Brian Benson, a real estate investor.

Crews demolished Southways on August 28, 2018 after Benson's company, Brackett Point Property LLC closed on the property on August 27, 2018.


Memories and stories


The History of Bracketts Point; Rise and Fall of Southways Thursday, October 4, 2018 7:00 p.m. Wayzata Community Room 600 Rice Street, Wayzata, Minnesota 55391

Following the recent loss of the John and Eleanor Pillsbury estate on Bracketts Point, the Wayzata Historical Society will present the history of Bracketts Point and the property formerly known as Southways.

Bracketts Point has a deep and rich history that begins in the mid-1850s and continues to the present day. We will begin with the story of its first settler and how it originally received the name Starvation Point. Continuing through the next 164 years, we will look at some of the people and homes that have been located on the peninsula. Brackett, Dunwoody, Pillsbury — these are but a few of the major names that have made a mark here.

The program will include a special highlight on the history of Southways with many photos and personal stories. We hope you can join us on October 4 as we examine the rise and fall of this remarkable property.

More info For more information contact WHS at 952-473-3631.

Photo Gallery

Related Links

A Look Inside Southways
Legendary Homes of Lake Minnetonka by Bette Hammel and Karen Melvin
Minnesota's Own by Larry Millett
Grand Dames of Lake Minnetonka
Harrie T. Lindberg
Samuel Yellin
Kennedys visit Southways
Southways by Eleanor Lawler Pillsbury
My Family History by Eleanor Lawler Pillsbury


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