Be prepared to fall in love with the elegance and beauty of this Tudor Revival home and its abundance of natural light, original architectural details, spacious rooms, and beautiful grounds. Designed by architect William Kenyon for Wadsworth and Ida Williams in 1931, the home has known only three owners and is being offered for the first time in 45 years. Mr. Williams was born in 1875 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, moving to Minnesota in the late 1890's to attend Carleton College in Northfield, graduating in 1900. At the time, Carleton College did not offer specific degrees, thus Wadsworth graduated with a study in Classics. (He later served on Carleton's Board of Trustees from 1937-1959, and in the early 1960's his widow, Mrs. Ida Bourne Williams, made a gift to Carleton for the creation of a Chair in Economics as a "perpetual memory" to her husband - the Wadsworth A. Williams Professor of Economics.) Fifteen years after graduation, at the onset of World War I, Williams was a working as a clerk for the banking and investment firm Wells & Dickey Company. Decades later he had worked his way up to become Vice President of the company. According to a descendant of the family, the "home was built during the depression to create jobs for people who could both learn and build a beautiful, highly crafted home to lift everyone's spirits at a time of great struggle".
What they created was a fantastic example of the Tudor Revival style in stone, stucco, and half-timbered design and clearly showcases the excellent craftsmanship of the era. Original exterior architectural details abound, adding a story book element to the home: medieval styled arched entry door, copper gutters with fine details of acorns and hearts, decorative vergeboards, ornamental gables, and leaded glass casement windows. It is the perfect home for a historical minded buyer who appreciates the fine details this home has to offer.
Upon entering the home, guests are greeted to an oak coffered ceiling reception hall that runs the length of the main level, providing access to the public rooms as well as the grand staircase leading to the upper and lower levels. The living room is decorated with wide oak wood floors, elegant moldings, and an oak paneled wood burning fireplace, and provides access to the tiled three season side porch. The north and south facing leaded glass casement windows bring in an abundance of natural light.
The home has numerous large windows throughout filling the home with sunlight, including the gorgeous oak staircase and elegant dining room. The handsome mahogany paneled library features a bow window, oak floors, carved woodwork, built in bookshelves, and wood burning fireplace. The kitchen, too, has its own fireplace (created by re-purposing an old incinerator shaft) and adjoins a fanciful breakfast room and butler's pantry. The pantry is perfectly preserved with beautiful birch cabinetry, tin ceilings, and german silver sink. (Fun Fact: the sink actually contains no silver, but is a mixture of nickel, copper, and zinc, which gives the sink a "bounce" so dropped stemware would not break. The "s-curve" design was thought to be more plate friendly, and the pipes sticking out of the drains are for overflow.)
The upper level has five bedrooms and four baths. The spacious master suite consists of a sitting room, bedroom with wood burning fireplace, built-in wardrobes, and access to two - three quarter baths. Four additional bedrooms feature hardwood floors and built in cabinets and wardrobes, each with its own unique details: barrel vault ceiling, private balcony, or en suite bathroom. Access to the third floor is via a birch wood servant's staircase, with it's own hidden maid's sink. The third level of the home includes 3 more bedrooms, full bath, walk-in cedar closet, and large bonus room.
The lower level of the home can be accessed from the main staircase, or a second servant's staircase originating in the butler's pantry. A surprise to every guest is the finished basement as it features a very large family room with grand wood burning fireplace, entertainment kitchen with tin ceiling, billiard room with wet bar, and an office with fireplace and built in shelves. (Fun fact: an original underground tunnel leads from the lower level to the the two-car garage).
The private backyard gardens are terraced and perfect for relaxing the day away. There is even an original covered nook along the back retaining wall to enjoy a good book. This amazing property is an old home lovers dream as so much of the original features are still intact and the character of the home has not been lost. If you are looking for a storybook setting with easy assess to Minneapolis, dining, shopping, and freeways, then this is the home for you.