Swan Turnblad House

You can read about the history and designation of the Swan Turnblad House historic landmark.






Address: 2600 Park Avenue South

Neighborhood: Phillips West

Construction Date: 1903-10

Contractor: Unknown

Architect: Boehme and Cordella

Architectural Style: French Chateau

Historic Use: Private Residence

Current Use: Public/Institutional

Date of Local Designation: 1974

Date of National Register Designation: 1970

Area(s) of Significance: Architecture; significant persons; cultural history

Period of Significance: 1900-

Historic Profile: Swan J. Turnblad, a Swedish-American immigrant, moved to Minnesota when he was a young boy. He made his fortune by acquiring a floundering Swedish-American newspaper called the Svenska Amerikanska Posten and transformed it into one of the most widely circulated Swedish-American newspapers in the United States. As a tribute to his success, Turnblad commissioned Minneapolis architects Boehme and Cordella to design a stylish Chateau estate on Park Avenue. The 33-room house, which cost nearly $1,500,000 to construct, took seven years to complete. The three-story mansion, built of Bedford limestone, is a composite of numerous exotic revival styles. Other notable features of the property include a massive porte-cochere with a solarium above, a two-story carriage house, and a decorative stone and iron fence that surround the property. In 1929, just nineteen years after the house was completed, Mr. Turnblad donated the house to the Swedish American Institute. Recently many key elements of the estate have been restored to reflect the original design. It houses an extensive collection of Swedish-American exhibits.

Photo Credits:

1951, Norton and Peel, courtesy of The Minnesota Historical Society

2006, Minneapolis CPED

Works Cited:

"Minnesota Historical Society Historic Sites Survey," September 1970.

Updated: February 2007

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