Historic Homes of Minnesota is the engaging story of the evolution of architectural styles in Minnesota from 1830 to 1914—from the influence of the early French traders along the Mississippi and St. Croix to the emergence of the school of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Through photographs and colorfully informative text, internationally known historian Roger Kennedy helps readers understand the unique styles of Minnesota’s first homes, including the Mower House in Arcola, the first large house on the St. Croix; Alexander Ramsey’s “Mansion House” in St. Paul, influenced by Pennsylvania Dutch virtues; the whimsical Charles C. Clement house in Fergus Falls, clearly Norse in spirit; and the Purcell House in Minneapolis, a fine example of the Prairie School design.
On a broad plane these architectural eras reflected social customs, politics, commerce, religion, and literature. On a personal level they often revealed the national origin and character of the families that made the house a home. In short, this is in large measure a history of the people. Kennedy has considered their heritage and traditions as carefully as he has examined the architecture they created, and he offers a fresh, wholistic approach to the study of our state’s great houses.