Address: 3045 5th Avenue South
Construction Date: 1904
Contractor: Maurice Schumacher
Architect: William M. Kenyon
Architectural Style: Shingle
Historic Use: Residence
Current Use: Residence
Date of Local Designation: 2012
Date of National Register Designation: N/A
Area(s) of Significance: Architectural Style; Master Builder; Master Architect
Period of Significance: 1904-1910
Built for Frank and Laura Chase in 1904, this two and one-half story residence is significant for its association with master builder Maurice Schumacher, its association with master architect William Kenyon, and its embodiment of the Shingle style of architecture.
Master builder Maurice Schumacher literally pulled himself up from carpenter’s apprentice to building industry advocate, raising lasting edifices and earning impressive credentials along the way. His work seems to have focused upon Minneapolis, though his buildings exist throughout the upper Midwest, and he worked as far afield as Pennsylvania and New Orleans. His more notable local works include the Foshay Tower (foundation and lower sections), the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company Building, and Vincent Hall at the University of Minnesota. Schumacher not only had the technical savvy to maintain a successful building enterprise, he had the financial and interpersonal skills to branch out into broader aspects of the building industry, leading prominent financial and building industry advocacy organizations. When he died in 1950, Schumacher’s obituary made the front page of the Minneapolis Morning Tribune. Hailed as the “Dean of Contractors,” the 79-year-old Schumacher was reported to be the oldest active contractor in the city.
In partnership with Maurice Maine, master architect William M. Kenyon was well known for designing public buildings in Minneapolis and beyond. Kenyon was the chief architect for the Soo Line railroad for 20 years. He designed Abbott Hospital in Minneapolis and was commissioned in 1914 to develop the community of Ajo, Arizona for the New Cornelia Company. Numerous Kenyon plans and renderings are now preserved for posterity in the Northwest Architectural Archives. Kenyon’s ability to earn commissions designing commercial, residential, institutional, and industrial buildings in a wide variety of architectural styles highlights his skill and versatility.
The Chase residence is designed in the Shingle style, whose evident hallmarks include shingled walls without interruption at the corners (always on upper stories and frequently on first stories); asymmetrical facades with irregular, steeply pitched rooflines; and roofs with intersecting cross gables and multi-level eaves. The limited use of decorative detailing also helps distinguish this building’s style from its more ornamental Victorian contemporaries: the Queen Anne, Stick, and Folk Victorian styles. This styling is even evident on a small, detached garage at the rear of the property. Designed for an automobile, the garage is emblematic of the original owner’s preference for both Victorian styles and modern technological innovations.
By the time the home was constructed in 1904, the Shingle style was on its way out of popularity. The 1914 porch added to the front of the building uses massive yet simple brick columns and wood beam detailing that hearken more to the Prairie style en vogue during the second decade of the 20th century. Yet even with the addition and subsequent enclosure of the porch, the building still clearly communicates its architectural legacy.
2012, CPED Staff
“Chase Residence Designation Study,” 2012.