Mid-Century Moderns and where to find them

There are both mid-century modern homes and more contemporary moderns, as well as other unique architect-designed homes scattered throughout the Twin Cities metro. Even a stunning Frank Lloyd home has been on the market in St. Louis Park for quite a while… let me know if you are interested! The University of Minnesota School of Architecture fostered interest in modest sized mid-century moderns through the influence of well-known local architects Elisabeth Close and Ralph Rapson.

Simply by definition you will find the most mid-century homes in first-ring suburbs that were developed primarily in 1950s. One of the richest sources for unique mid-century homes is in Golden Valley, with many in the Tyrol Hills neighborhood where most of the homes are architect-designed. There are many mid-century home designs scattered throughout Golden Valley, where I have also seen mid-century concrete block homes.

Midcentury-tyrol

St. Louis Park is another first-ring Minneapolis suburb where you can find mid-century modern homes, although there are also many small 1 1/2 story homes built for veterans returning home after WWII. You will find the most mid-century moderns on the east side of Hwy 100 such as the one on the left below  currently listed for sale… and in the Westwood Hills neighborhood on the west side of Hwy 100 between the nature center and golf course. The most unique mid-century home in the Twin Cities has to be the ALCOA aluminum home in this neighborhood also pictured below. One of fewer than 50 such homes built in the country, it still stands on the corner of Texas and Westwood Hills Drive.

Midcentury-montereyALCOA

A surprising pocket of mid-century homes is located near Mississippi River Boulevard in St. Paul, on land that was once part of the Stonebridge estate, the largest private estate ever built in the Twin Cities. Stonebridge Boulevard is lined with mid-century architect-designed homes. The Desnoyer neighborhood along the river north of Marshall also has some mid-century homes.

Another treasure trove of mid-century architecture is St. Anthony Park, near the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota.This neighborhood has perhaps the most eclectic mix of homes built in different styles and eras as any in the entire metro, including the former mid-century modern residence of former Minnesota governor C. Elmer Anderson pictured below.

Midcentury-hoyt1

This home is on the border of St. Anthony Park and University Grove, a unique neighborhood of architect designed homes built on land owned by the University of Minnesota. Purchasing a home in this unique neighborhood is open to University employees eligible for the faculty or federal retirement plan.

Other places to look for mid-century moderns are in other first-ring suburbs developed in the 1950s.  St. Paul’s Highland Park also had major development then and is a good place to find mid-century modern architecture… and Minneapolis has some treasures built along Minnehaha Creek… and of course they are scattered throughout the entire metro.

Many of these homes don’t come on the market very often, so you must be patient and diligent. It can take some creative searching to find them… there is no home search criteria for mid-century modern! Let me know if you would like me to help you find mid-century modern homes for sale in the Twin Cites.

 

University Grove... unique enclave of mid-century moderns

Only 8 blocks long and one and a half blocks wide, University Grove is nestled between the University golf course and the awesome St. Anthony Park neighborhood of St. Paul, with the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus on one side and Luther Theological Seminary on the other. It feels like part of neighboring St. Anthony Park, but this is a separate community with a Falcon Heights address in the Roseville school district.

This group of 103 homes built for UMN professors and administrators over a 60-year period on land owned by the University of Minnesota is an architectural time capsule. Because each home had to be designed by an architect with a maximum ceiling on costs, no two houses are alike but they create a cohesive mix. The early homes were mostly Tudor or colonial styles, but later houses showed the strong influence of the Bauhaus and international style… creating a unique enclave of mid-century modern homes.

University Grove1

“The Park”, as neighborhood residents affectionately refer to St. Anthony Park, is one of St. Paul’s premier walkable, highly educated and socially aware neighborhoods… with neighborhood services including restaurants/coffee shops, a bank, small specialty shops, churches, schools, a grocer, and a Carnegie library which is the busiest in the the metro area.

Homes for sale in University Grove must first be offered to University of Minnesota faculty and staff, but if not sold after 90 days they can be offered to the general population. These targeted properties can be hard to find in generic online search engines. Let us know if you would like us to set up a search for you!

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