Meader-Farnham House

Read about the history and designation of the Meader-Farnham House historic landmark.


The Meader-Farnham House is one of the oldest buildings in Minneapolis.

  • Location: 105 Island Avenue West
  • Neighborhood: Nicollet Island – East Bank

Historic photo (1985)

Meader-Farnham House at 105 Island Avenue West in1985



Current photo (circa 1990s)

Meader-Farnham House at 105 Island Avenue West, circa 1990s





  • Architectural Style: Italianate
  • Architect: Unknown


  • Historic use: Residential
  • Current use: Residential


  • Construction date: circa 1870
  • Contractor: Unknown


  • Area(s) of significance: Undefined
  • Period of significance: Undefined
  • Date of local designation: 1984
  • Date of National Register designation: N/A
  • Designation: Exterior

Historic profile

The Meader-Farnham House is one of the oldest buildings in Minneapolis. It was built at 913 5th Avenue South around 1870 for W.F. and Jennie Meader. The Meader family owned a dry goods and millinery store on Washington Avenue. They sold the house in 1876 to George Farnham, who worked for them, and his wife Mary. Farnham was later president of Farnham Marble and Mantle Company.

The building later became a boardinghouse and then an antique store. In the 1980s, it was slated for demolition. Instead, the house became a landmark. It was a rare surviving example of an Italianate house in downtown, amidst a lot of redevelopment. Then the house was purchased and moved to Nicollet Island in 1985. It was reassembled and set on a new foundation. The new owners, Jeff Siegel and Dorothy Sams-Siegel, restored it over the next year. This is one of five historic houses moved to Nicollet Island.

This house displays several features of the Italianate style. It has a symmetrical facade with a central gable, an open porch, narrow windows, and brackets under the eaves.


Photo credit

  • 1985 photo: Courtesy of Hennepin County Library
  • Circa 1990s photo: Courtesy of Hennepin County Library

Work cited

  • Hess, Roise and Company, “Architecture and Historic Preservation on the Minneapolis Riverfront,” 2007.
  • Skyway News archives
  • Star Tribune archives

Contact us

Community Planning & Economic Development

Historic Preservation




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