Friday, January 25, 2019

HOUSE OF CHARLES S. PILLSBURY


At the turn of the last century Charles Alfred Pillsbury and the Pillsbury family had amassed a fortune, mostly from milling flour. Sometime around 1912 his sons, Charles S. Pillsbury and his twin brother John, flipped a coin to determine which of them would take over the family mansion on East 22nd Street. Charles lost the coin toss and the family home, so he decided to build his own mansion across the street.


HOUSE OF CHARLES S. PILLSBURY, 100 EAST 22ND ST., MINNEAPOLIS. MINN
 HEWITT & BROWN, ARCHITECTS

Constructed at a cost of $300,000 in 1912 by the H.N. Leighton Company according to designs by Minneapolis architects Hewitt and Brown, the Charles Stinson Pillsbury House is a two and one half storey mansion of reinforced concrete and random-jointed gray Bedford limestone. It is situated on a prominent corner lot; the building measures approximately eighty-seven feet by seventy-eight feet. The design is representative of the English Gothic style influences which experienced a revival in American domestic architecture between the 1890's and the 1920's.


HOUSE OF CHARLES S. PILLSBURY, 100 EAST 22ND ST., MINNEAPOLIS. MINN
 HEWITT & BROWN, ARCHITECTS

A three-story entrance bay is centrally located on the building's facade. The round-arched door, which features grille work, is covered by a small porch. The rounded roof of the porch is supported by columns and, over the entablature the semi-circular eave space, displays a cartouche and bas-relief. Above the porch a polygonal bay window projects and is topped by a parapet wall. A shaped gable completes the entrance bay.

Each of the three stories of the Pillsbury residence is delineated from the next by a horizontal string course. At one corner of the building a single-story polygonal bay with grouped windows is topped by a parapet wall featuring bas-relief panels.

The roof of the residence is of the broadside gabled type with numerous secondary gables occurring around the structure. These gables are straight-sided with single steps at each of the lower corners. At the roof-ends, polygonal chimney stacks rise between twin gables.

HOUSE OF CHARLES S. PILLSBURY, 100 EAST 22ND ST., MINNEAPOLIS. MINN
 HEWITT & BROWN, ARCHITECTS


The exterior of this house is of random jointed Bedford stone. It should be noted that the window mullions are of stone throughout. There was question if there would be any disadvantage in having this stone appear in the interior in a climate like that of Minnesota. Means were devised to prevent any possibility of frost penetration and results have proven that such construction is perfectly feasible. 


HOUSE OF CHARLES S. PILLSBURY, 100 EAST 22ND ST., MINNEAPOLIS. MINN
HEWITT & BROWN, ARCHITECTS

The grounds surrounding the Pillsbury residence are enclosed on two sides by a low balustraded wall of stone. Two lions with shields guard the main entrance in the wall atop tall, stone pillars. The exterior is further enhanced by two scrolled buttress arches and lanterns of wrought iron which appear at the secondary entrance to the grounds.

OAK HALL AND STAIRCASE, RESIDENCE OF CHARLES S, PILLSBURY, ESQ.


Particularly distinctive are the carved quarter-sawn oak staircase from an English castle  in the vestibule and the massive carved oak fireplace in the reception room to the right of the entrance hall. The floors throughout the first story are of pegged teakwood. 


HOUSE OF CHARLES S. PILLSBURY, 100 EAST 22ND ST., MINNEAPOLIS. MINN
    HEWITT & BROWN, ARCHITECTS

The interiors of the Pillsbury mansion were designed by Charles Duveen of London. They feature an abundance of fine imported woods and decorative glass panes, carved and painted by hand craftsmen.


HOUSE OF CHARLES S. PILLSBURY, 100 EAST 22ND ST., MINNEAPOLIS. MINN
    HEWITT & BROWN, ARCHITECTS

HOUSE OF CHARLES S. PILLSBURY, 100 EAST 22ND ST., MINNEAPOLIS. MINN
 HEWITT & BROWN, ARCHITECTS

HOUSE OF CHARLES S. PILLSBURY, 100 EAST 22ND ST., MINNEAPOLIS. MINN
 HEWITT & BROWN, ARCHITECTS

The large leaded windows of the first and second stories are divided by transoms and mullions and contain painted glass medallions from 17th century castles and churches. The windows on the upper half-story feature hood molds.

ELIZABETHAN DINING ROOM, EXECUTED FOR  CHARLES S. PILLSBURY, ESQ.

HOUSE OF CHARLES S. PILLSBURY, 100 EAST 22ND ST., MINNEAPOLIS. MINN
 HEWITT & BROWN, ARCHITECTS

The majority of the glass panes and medallions reflect biblical scenes and Christian symbolism. All are hand painted. 


DINING ROOM
HOUSE OF CHARLES S. PILLSBURY, 100 EAST 22ND ST., MINNEAPOLIS. MINN
   HEWITT & BROWN, ARCHITECTS

OAK LIBRARY, RESIDENCE OF CHARLES S, PILLSBURY, ESQ.

The fireplace in the library survived the great fire of London in 1666. William Randolph Hearst actually bought the fireplace for his castle, San Simeon, in California. Charles Pillsbury learned about this find and attempted to buy the fireplace from Hearst. Knowing a good thing when he had found it, Hearst refused to sell, so Pillsbury asked if he could have a replica made before it was dismantled for shipping to the States. Hearst agreed to this, and the replica was made.

As it happened—no one now seems to know whether by happenstance or design—the original and the replica were shipped in the same freighter. Somehow, by accident or slight of hand, the original was delivered to Pillsbury and the replica shipped to Hearst. By the time Hearst realized that he had the wrong fireplace, the original had been installed in the Pillsbury mansion. Hearst sued to have his property returned, but somehow it has remained in Minneapolis.

The family used rooms on all four floors of the mansion. The family room and a card room next door used by the gentlemen shared the basement with storage areas. The main floor included the central hall, the library, the parlor, the conservatory and dining room, and the kitchen.


SECOND FLOOR, RESIDENCE OF CHARLES S, PILLSBURY, ESQ.

The floor above housed bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, and personal suites for Mr. and Mrs. Pillsbury and their three daughters and one son. Even today, tucked away in a closet in Mrs. Pillsbury’s suite is the safe for her jewels. Unfortunately the combination is now lost. 


THIRD FLOOR, RESIDENCE OF CHARLES S, PILLSBURY, ESQ.

The top floor included servants’ rooms and a large ballroom with skylights that make the rooms airy and light.


Pillsbury lived in the house until his death in 1939. Later occupied by the Northwestern Theological Seminary. It was acquired in 1969 by the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts. The present owners BLIND Incorporated provides services to the blind in Minnesota.


https://www.blindinc.org/


 http://www.mnhs.org/preserve/nrhp/nomination/78001544.pdf



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