Charles M. Harrington House

You can read about the history and designation of the Charles M. Harrington House historic landmark.




Address: 2540 Park Avenue South

Neighborhood: Phillips West

Construction Date: 1902

Contractor: Pike and Cook

Architect: Kees and Colburn

Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival

Historic Use: Private Residence

Current Use: Commercial

Date of Local Designation: 1988

Date of National Register Designation: N/A

Area(s) of Significance: Architecture; master builders; significant person; community development

Period of Significance: 1900-

Historic Profile: This large Italian Renaissance urban estate was home to Charles M. Harrington. Harrington arrived in Minnesota as a poor teenager, but by 1889 he was the president of the Van Dusen-Harrington Company, one of the largest grain firms of that time. In addition, he actively participated in and served as president of the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce. Harrington commissioned prominent architects Kees and Colburn to design a stylish urban estate on Park Avenue, a street that attracted the wealthiest Minneapolis residents.

Kees, known for his work on the Northern Implement Company Building and the Grain Exchange, chose an Italian Renaissance style which features a buff-colored brick exterior and a red tile hip roof. A two-story carriage house built directly behind the main house mimics its design with corner quoining, deeply set windows, and entablatures with elaborate cornices. Only selective areas of the interior have remained unaltered since their construction. The main reception hall, grand staircase and second floor gallery, which were all done in mahogany paneling, and woodwork with decorative plasterwork on the ceiling have retained their historic integrity.

The most recent addition, built to accommodate the current occupants, the Zuhrah Shrine Center and Mansion, is a one-story buff brick structure which contains an auditorium, club rooms, ladies’ lounge, and kitchen.

Photo Credits:

1963, courtesy of The Minnesota Historical Society

2006, Minneapolis CPED

Work Cited:

City of Minneapolis, "Local Heritage Preservation Designation Study," July 1988.


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505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 320
Minneapolis, MN 55415