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Recent posts:

Anders Christensen Receives Preservation Alliance of Minnesota Executive Director’s Award Anders Christensen’s Remarks on Receiving Preservation Alliance of Minnesota Award Healy Project Fundraiser at the Lowbrow, May 7th Winter Party Fundraiser December 2017 Talk: Preservation Advocacy, August 17th Open House at 1300 Mount Curve Avenue East Lake of the Isles Walking Tour May 21st New Research on the “Lost” Healy Block: Tour May 7th A Presentation on Master Builders Ingham and Parsons, Saturday, March 18th. Healy Project Winter Party Henry Ingham’s Yorkshire Healy Project Fundraiser at the Lowbrow, May 9th Healy Block Historic District Tour: April 17th Healy Project Holiday Old House Reception CANCELED–Healy Block Historic District Walking Tour–November 8 More Hauntings: Houses Built by Henry Ingham Healy House Hauntings Tour Intro to the History of the North Wedge North Wedge Architectural Walking Tour, October 3rd Healy Phoenix #2 Healy Phoenix #1 Report on the Event: A Great Dinner for a Good Cause A Child’s View of T.P. Healy’s Family Big Win for Healy Block Residents: Revised I-35W Expansion Plan T.P. Healy: Farmer, Commission Merchant & Wholesale Grocer in Nova Scotia Open April 25th: Restored 1885 House in Wedge Learn from the Past, Learn from the Present Grandstanding and Stonewalling at City Hall: Trashing the Public Trust Orth House Demolition An Open Letter to Minneapolis City Council Regarding the Orth House Demolition The Truth Will Out II: More Lies That Brought Down 2320 Colfax Avenue South The Truth Will Out: Lies that Brought Down 2320 Colfax Avenue South Judge Denies Injunction against Wrecking 2320 Colfax Avenue South Poisoning the Well: Testimony about 2320 Colfax Avenue South “City Ghosts” Visit Victorian House Historic North Wedge Walking Tour: Sunday, September 7th Combining New and Old: A New Vision for the Orth House A Place That Matters Healy Project Files Suit to Stop Demolition of the Orth House Happy Earth Day, Zero-Credibility City of Minneapolis Stop Demolition: Allow a designation study for the Orth House Perverting New Urbanism II: Greenwashing Demolition Perverting New Urbanism for Fun and Profit Size Matters: Development at Franklin-Lyndale DEN$ITY: Building Utopia in Gopher City Hypocrisy at City Hall: Planning Department Scorns Sustainable Development Déjà Vu All Over Again: Threats to Healy Houses Renewed Healy Project Special Kickoff Tour Saving Private Houses In Landmark Decision, City Council Stops Demolition of 2320 Colfax Avenue South What’s the Greenest Building? Who Lives in Lowry Hill East? Revoltin’ Developments VI: What You Can Do Revoltin’ Developments V: Sappy Citizens and Maudlin Attachments Revoltin’ Developments IV: Density and City Planning Revoltin’ Developments III: Density and Livability Revoltin’ Developments II: Healy Houses in the Wedge Revoltin’ Developments, Part I Healy Descendant Acquires the Bennett-McBride House On Memorial Day Lost Healys on the Healy Block More Lost Healys The Broom House: 3111 Second Avenue South More on Round Hill Happy Birthday, T.P. The Edmund G. Babbidge House: 3120 Third Avenue South Brightening the Corner: 3101 Second Avenue South 2936 Portland Avenue The Andrew H. Adams House: 3107 Second Avenue South Clones: 2932 Park and 1425 Dupont North The J.B. Hudson House: 3127 Second Avenue South Second Healy Family Home: 3131 Second Avenue South Schlocked: ‎2639-41 Bryant Avenue South 1976 Sheridan Avenue South: Preserved Exterior The William L. Summer House, 3145 Second Avenue South Two More in the Wedge Weapon of Mass Healy Destruction: I-35W Construction The Third: Healy Builds in the Wedge The Second: 3139 Second Avenue South Healy’s First House: 3137 Second Avenue South Anders Christensen, T.P.Healy, and the Healy Project

Anders Christensen Receives Preservation Alliance of Minnesota Executive Director’s Award

Anders (right) receiving the award from PAM Executive Director Doug Gasek  (Photo by Ceridwen Christensen)

“Anders epitomizes PAM’s mission of connecting people to places through hands-on building re-use, training the next generation of building tradespeople, and staunchly advocating for his neighborhood. For Anders, building re-use and strong communities are a way of life.”–Doug Gasek

Anders talking to a tour group in front of a house by master builder Henry Ingham in the Wedge (Lowry Hill East) neighborhood.

Anders Christensen, president of the Healy Project and long-time preservation advocate, was this year’s recipient of  Executive Director’s Award from the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota.  At the PAM Gala and Awards event at the St. Paul Athletic Club on October 11, 2018, Anders received the award from Doug Gasek, the Executive Director, for his hands-on work in restoring buildings and preservation advocacy through his work with the Healy Project.

In his remarks, Gasek noted, “Whenever we think of Anders Christensen, we think of his optimism, passion, is craftsmanship, entrepreneurship; his inquisitiveness, and generally just his joy of life. Anders gets to go to work every day at his Minneapolis-based company, TigerOx Painting, specializing in painting, plaster repair, paper hanging, and other finishing trades. Anders knows how crucial it is to pass on his knowledge of the trades to future generations. . . .Anders is also the founder of the Healy Project, a nonprofit dedicated to sharing the architectural legacy of Minneapolis master builder T. P. Healy. He has dedicated countless hours to research and education about Healy and it has resulted in the growing community pride. Anders sees more than the architectural gems in the neighborhood, he sees the people and the places and the possibilities.”

Anders with the PAM award medallion. (Photo by Ceridwen Christensen)

Anders giving a tour of the Healy Block Historic District with researcher Ezra Gray. (Photo by Madeline Douglas)

Many friends, relatives, Tiger-Ox colleagues, and Healy Project members were on hand to see Anders receive this well-deserved award for his work in building restoration and preservation advocacy.

Anders talking with state Sen. David Senjem, recipient of the PAM President’s Award for his work at the capitol in support of preservation.–(Photo by Trilby Busch)

Healy Project board members (-l-r): John Cuningham, Anders, Christina Langsdorf, Gary Thaden, Sally Cuningham, Trilby Busch (Photo by Ceridwen Christensen)

Anders with daughter Ceridwen before the presentation of awards. (Photo by Trilby Busch)

For Anders’ comments on receiving the award, see https://healyproject.org/anders-christensens-remarks-on-receiving-preservation-alliance-of-minnesota-award/

–T.B.

 

Anders reading his remarks as PAM Executive Director Doug Gasik and Board President Steve Knight look on.

Remarks by Anders Christensen on receiving the Executive Director’s Award of the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, October 11, 2018:

I want to thank the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota for this award. It is a great personal honor; I am most grateful. When the awards were announced publicly, I congratulated Senator David Senjem. This is what he messaged me: ”Kind of clumsy. Don’t legislate for awards or public recognition. . . To be sure it is impossible to legislate alone and everything I get credit for was done with help.”

The construction of buildings is a team sport. Everyone involved in the construction process must work together. We are competing, not against each other, but against the clock and against the budget. I never imagined growing up that I would end up in the building trades. I was born and raised in Duluth. I came to Minneapolis in 1972 to pursue a PhD in the literature of the English Renaissance— William Shakespeare, and all the other brilliant wordsmiths of that great age.

In 1976, the American Bicentennial Year, my wife Trilby and I bought an old house in the Wedge, the Lowry Hill East neighborhood of Minneapolis. It had been built in 1885. It was a vernacular Victorian built by a master builder. It was decidedly pre-Modern, from another age. In the aftermath of Watergate and the Vietnam War, I think we were searching for something in the past that would help us find our way forward.

We began to do research. Suddenly, it came alive to us. It connected us to a previous generation. We dove into the restoration process. It is hard to convey the intensity of the community of restoration and preservation that happened in that period of the late 70’s and early 80’s. Anyone who has gotten the restoration bug knows what I am talking about. We were a group of people with a common purpose, curiosity, and a willingness to share what we learned with each other.

I had walked away from the academic life in 1977. I was drawn to a life of action. There was also something very compelling about the study of local history. When you study Shakespeare, you also have to study four hundred years of other people studying Shakespeare. When I started my study of master builder T. P. Healy in 1978, I was studying someone that history had forgotten about. There were no footsteps in the snow. My research of T. P. Healy led me to John Cuningham, a young architect and T.P. Healy’s great grandson. I have often teasingly called John “The Heir.”

We are all heirs. We have all received an inheritance. It is not something we choose or earn by effort, or work for, or deserve. Inheritances are gifts from generations that have gone before. We probably think first of money through a will. But we also receive a genetic inheritance. Politically, we have received the inheritance of a democratic republic in the United States of America. Again not things we choose, earn, work for, or deserve.

We have also received an inheritance of a built environment, a land with buildings on it. We did not design them with our imaginations; we did not build them with our hands; we have not maintained them in the years before they became ours. Our old buildings, our historic buildings are our inheritance. And if we received an inheritance of money from an ancestor, who would throw it away? Buildings are no different.

John Ruskin, the great Victorian art critic and social reformer says this about buildings in the Lamp of Memory, one of the Seven Lamps of Architecture:

“Of more wanton or ignorant ravage it is vain to speak; my words will not reach those who commit them, and yet, be it heard or not, I must not leave the truth unstated, that it is again no question of expediency or feeling whether we shall preserve the buildings of past times or not. We have no right whatever to touch them. They are not ours. They belong partly to those who built them, and partly to all the generations of mankind who are to follow us. The dead have still their right in them: that which they labored for, the praise of achievement or the expression of religious feeling, or whatsoever else it might be which in those buildings they intended to be permanent, we have no right to obliterate. What we have ourselves built, we are at liberty to throw down; but what other men gave their strength and wealth and life to accomplish, their right over does not pass away with their death; still less is the right to the use of what they have left vested in us only. It belongs to all their successors.”

My study of master builder T. P. Healy has gone on for over forty years now. I have been increasing intrigued with the role of the master builder, the man who both designs the building and builds it. It is like a composer conducting his own work. But when we say Healy “built” the building we mean that he directed and organized the construction. The composer and the conductor are dependent on the entire orchestra to make the music, otherwise there is no sound, no music. The same is true in building. As a painter, I am like a second bassoonist. I am essential to the creation of the sound, but only a part of a much larger whole.

I have been working on people’s houses for close to forty years now. I get to work for people that I love helping them care for the houses that they love. I have also had the opportunity to teach many young people how to paint who have worked for me over the years. It never gets old. It is always the process of becoming. As painters we maintain older buildings so that they can be passed on to the next generation.

I want to acknowledge some of the people here tonight. Trilby Busch and I started this journey forty years ago. We continue our work together and are proud parents of our two daughters. Daughter Ceridwen Anne, who grew up in the chaos of an old house restoration, went on to become my business partner for twenty years. My big brother in the trades is John Erler, the master carpenter of Swede Hollow. My former business partner Rachel Reksten Taylor; my current partner Jeremy Wikre. My two sons William Hollender and Peter Hollender both worked for me when they were in college. I have worked for PAM teaching classes over the last four or five years. Natalie Heneghen, the education coordinator, has made everything work, has been a joy to work with. Jamila, who took a PAM class I taught a couple weeks ago, learned how to repair sash windows with broken cords. And last but not least my wife Christine who lets me pick the colors in our house and supports me when I go tilting at windmills, defying the powers that be, and generally following my muse in this world. I wish my parents Chris and Dory Christensen could be here. They taught me everything by the way they led their lives. My mother-in-law, Avis Hefner, is here from Sioux City, Iowa. I am touched that she made the trip to be here tonight.

Thank you to all of you here present for your support of the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota and for the ways in which you individually work for the preservation of our architectural heritage. And, again, thank you PAM for this honor.

Good food, good company, good cause: The third annual Healy Project “Give Back Monday” fundraiser at The Lowbrow is coming up on May 7th. Have dinner at The Lowbrow on Monday the 7th between 4 and 9 p.m., and 10% of the profits will benefit The Healy Project. Treat yourself to a reasonably priced night out for a good cause.

The Lowbrow is committed to bringing scratch-made comfort food to your plate using locally farmed, sustainably grown ingredients. They also offer offer gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. The Lowbrow specializes in classic tavern fare such as local grass fed beef burgers, delicious hand-cut fries, with a number of local brews on tap. (Check out the Lowbrow’s menu on their web site.)

Lowbrow burger

The Lowbrow, 4244 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis MN 55409

Reservations accepted for parties of 6 or more. Call 612-208-0720.

2546 Portland Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN

Sunday, December 3, 2017   1-4 p.m.

In July the Healy Project held an open house at the Renaissance Revival mansion at 1300 Mount Curve, designed by William Channing Whitney and built by T.P. Healy.  The Winter Party will be held in another architect-designed and Healy-built house of a very different style. Join Healy homeowners and supporters of the Healy Project at a party in the exquisite Châteauesque house at 2546 Portland Avenue South, designed by Edwin P. Overmire and built by T.P. Healy in 1900. Hand-carved Corinthian capitals and a gilded  domed ceiling in the foyer are just two of the elegant interior features.

Overmire began his career as a draftsman for Plant and Whitney before he became a celebrated architect in his own right.  Just five years after this house was built, Overmire met an untimely death at age 41.

Edwin P. Overmire

The suggested donation of $20 will support the ongoing research on buildings by Healy and other master builders. Refreshments provided.

Supporters of the Healy Project gather in front of the Orth House for a photo to be posted on the National Trust’s page, “Places That Matter.”

The story of the fall of the Orth House will be told as part of a talk and exhibit on preservation advocacy sponsored by Preserve Minneapolis and the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota.  Anders Christensen of the Healy Project will narrate the two-year- long fight to save the 1893 Healy-built house from demolition.  The story of the Orth House, along with other stories of preservation advocacy, will be part of a talk and discussion at the Hennepin History Museum, 2303 Third Ave. South. Thursday, August 17th, 6:30-9:30 p.m.  The museum is hosting an exhibit of these stories beginning August 10th.

The last photo of the Orth House before its demolition.

If you can’t make it to the talk or exhibit, you can read about the fight for the Orth House, its demolition and the aftermath on posts on this blog.  It’s a story that’s painful for those of us who fought to save it. . . .and a story that members of the City Council, City Planning, and local developers would like to forget.  But it should and must be told.

Down it goes.

The deck is almost always stacked against old historic buildings when developers take their promises of higher density and higher tax base to City government.  The big triumph over the small, the new over the old, the affluent over those of modest means. The Healy Project will keep fighting as long as old buildings are threatened. And they will always be threatened.

T.B.

On the afternoon of Sunday, July 9th, supporters of the Healy Project were offered the wonderful opportunity to see the interior of the mansion at 1300 Mount Curve Avenue on Lowry Hill. Bob Levine and Gloria Finlay generously opened their 9,000-plus square-foot home as a fundraiser for the Healy Project’s ongoing research for a publication on the life and works of T.P. Healy.

Drawing of 1300 Mount Curve by Richard Mueller

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, this magnificent Renaissance Revival mansion was built by T.P. Healy in 1904. Celebrated architect William Channing Whitney designed the house for Charles Martin, secretary-treasurer of the Washburn-Crosby Company. Architectural historian Larry Millet has aptly called the house a “modern palace.” During the 1960s and ’70s it was the home of art dealer Gordon Locksley, a national figure in the Gay Rights movement.  Bob Levine acquired the house in 1982 and has over years done extensive restoration and updating work on the residence, adding a swimming  pool and other modern features.

The pool area.  Photo by Gary Thaden

Over one hundred guests toured the house, yet no room was ever crowded. Healy homeowners, as well as owners of homes by other master builders, Healy family members, Lowry Hill residents, and old house lovers roamed through four levels of mansion, viewing the Minneapolis skyline from the penthouse balcony and descending  to the basement level.

The original vaulted ceiling in the basement . CC

Ezra Gray of the Healy Project made a slide show of the history of the house from its construction in the early 20th century to the present day. During the Gordon Locksley era wild parties with figures from the art world such as Andy Warhol and German performance artist Christo were thrown. At one party Christo (who is famous for wrapping buidings) wrapped two artist’s models in clear plastic and placed them on the dining room table.

Needless to say, the Healy Project event was much tamer, but still a lot of fun. Since pictures speak louder than words, here’s a selection of photos from the event

Christina Langsdorf greeted guests in the entry way. CC

Kilo the cockatoo told guests he loves them from his perch in the formal parlor. TB

The parlor from the entrance hall. Photo by Gary Thaden

Healy homeowner Catherine Loy with hosts Bob Levine and Gloria Finlay. TB

Healy Project president Anders Christensen with Lisa McDonald. CC

Jake, Kathy, and Abby Mengelkoch, descendants of Theron’s brother Anderson in the informal dining area. CC

Brewmeister Peter Hollender at the second-floor bar. CC

Richard Mueller (at table) writing out name tags in calligraphy script. Photo by Gary Thaden

Krisha Dorney and Carolyn Brouillard talking to Healy homeowner Dennis Tuthill in the entrance hall. TB

Ingham homeowner Barbara Hanson with Ward 7 council member Lisa Goodman. TB

Trilby Busch and Healy homeowner Kate Roos checking out the historic photo collection in the formal dining room. CC

The city skyline from the penthouse balcony. TB

Look who signed the guest book!

Unless otherwise noted. photos are by Ceridwen Christensen (CC) and Trilby Busch (TB). Please credit.

The Healy Project is making plans for a holiday open house in a Healy-built house designed by gifted architect Edwin P. Overmire. Watch this space for an announcement.

Houses by Ernest Kennedy and Liebenberg and Kaplan in the 2600 block.

‘Ever wonder about the history of the elegant houses on Lake of the Isles? Join guide Trilby Busch to hear about the history of the development of the lake, the parkway, and the houses on it–who built them and who lived in them, dates and styles.

Meet at the intersection of West 27th Street and East Lake of the Isles Parkway at 1 p.m., and walk the east side of the lake, taking a detour onto Lake Place. The tour will be canceled only in case of heavy rain or severe weather at the time of the tour.

The exquisite Purcell-Cutts House on Lake Place.

Some of Minneapolis’s most celebrated architects built residences on East Lake of the Isles:  Ernest Kennedy, William Gray Purcell, Liebenberg and Kaplan,  Adam Lansing Dorr, and Harry Wild Jones, to name just a few. While no houses on the lake were designed or built by T.P. Healy (he died before the boulevard was developed), one house on the tour was designed by master builder Henry Ingham.

Get tour vouchers here:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/east-lake-of-the-isles-parkway-walking-tour-tickets-33688588475

J.B. Hudson House, 3127 Second Ave. S., mid-1890s

Hear fascinating new information gleaned from recent research about the houses on the lost, even-numbered side of Second Avenue. See images of the  houses wrecked for I-35W construction nearly six decades ago. Join researchers Anders Christensen and Ezra Gray for a walking tour of the Healy Block Residential Historic District on Sunday, May 7th to learn more about the “lost” side and updated research on the entire Block.

The 3100 block of Second Avenue South, as seen from 31st Street before I-35W construction.

Tickets are $12 on Eventbrite.  On the day of the tour, tickets will be available on site for $15.

Meet in front of the Healy-designed  George F. Bates House, 3139 Second Avenue South at 1 p.m. on May 7th. Tour will take place rain or shine.

Front gable end, 3139 Second Ave.

–T.B.

 

Free Library Event.
Walker Library. 2880 Hennepin Ave. S. Minneapolis. 612.543.8400

             HENRY INGHAM                    Henry Parsons

From Yorkshire to Minneapolis: The Architectural Legacy of Master Builders Henry Ingham and Henry Parsons

Saturday, March 18th, 1-3 p.m.
A presentation by Trilby Busch and Anders Christensen of the Healy Project
Along with theron potter healy, ingham and Parsons are the “Big Three” master Builders of turn-of-the-century minneapolis. Take a Virtual tour of north and west Yorkshire, england, the home country of ingham and parsons, followed by a presentation of the buildings they designed and built in minneapolis.

2432 Bryant Ave. S., Ingham 1899

2504 Euclid Place.,  Parsons 1909

For more information, see these posts on this blog:
“Henry Ingham’s Yorkshire” August 10, 2016 and “More Hauntings: Houses by Henry Ingham” October 24, 2015
–T.B.

On Sunday, February 12, Healy Project supporters, neighbors, and members of the Healy family met at an 1895 Healy-built house in the Wedge. They celebrated the restoration of the house’s interior following a fire and looked forward to a year of special projects and new research regarding the life and works of T.P. Healy. Every inch of the surface of the interior had to be cleaned, and refinished or repainted after the fire.

Healy Project Treasurer Christina Langsdorf signing in guests.

Healy homeowner and board member Dennis Tuthill (center).

Hostess Andy Thaden (beige sweater) chatting with guests.

Host and HP Secretary Gary Thaden, the third attorney to own the house.

Reflections in the buffet mirror.

Healy homeowner Meg Tuthill (far right) and neighbor Audrey Johnson surveying the treats.

Former HP board members Nat Forbes and Karen Gjerstad (left) with John and Denise Erler. Nat won the door prize, “A Place at the Lake” by Paul Clifford Larson.

The mantelpiece and built-in bookcases in the back parlor.

Leonard Healy (seated), the descendant of Theron’s brother Anderson.

HP President Anders Christensen (right), with host Gary Thaden.

HP Administrator Trilby Busch (right) and Kathy Healy Mendelkoch examining the award that Kathy accepted for Charles Woodrich, T.P.’s grandson.

A copy of the building permit, with T.P. Healy’s name at the top.

Lowry Hill Healy homeowner Robert Hinck checking in.

Ceridwen Christensen in the front parlor.

The window in the front second-floor bedroom.

Photos by Richard Mueller