David Wright had a good feeling about the 1930s gabled brick home a half block from Lake Harriet. When Wright and his wife, Robin, walked in, “We could see that it had an incredible layout in terms of flow and light,” said David. “Every room has a purpose, and you can see the lake from the living room.”
The Wrights are only the third owners of the Minneapolis house they bought for $2.1 million in 2006. The home was built for Frank A. Donaldson, founder of Donaldson Co., a worldwide manufacturer of filtration systems and parts in Bloomington, in 1931.
The front door is accented with a Tudor arch, but the overall architectural style “evokes the quietly picturesque work of English Arts & Crafts architects, such as Charles Voysey,” wrote Larry Millett in the “AIA Guide to the Minneapolis Lake District.”
Whatever the style, walkers at the intersection of Lake Harriet Parkway and Sheridan Avenue, have long admired the elegant beauty on a hill by the southwest corner of the lake.
“It feels so secluded — not like you’re in the city,” said David.
Over time, the Wrights restored, updated and enhanced the 8,655-square-foot home, making it a family-friendly fit for their five children. “It already felt open and light, but we wanted to make it much more liveable — and not so formal,” said David.
The landscaped backyard oasis includes a saltwater swimming pool, hot tub and massive upper stone terrace, warmed by a fireplace.
The Wrights converted the original servants’ quarters into a new chef’s kitchen, equipped with a wood-burning pizza oven and banquette dining.
The revised second floor includes a spacious owners’ suite with vistas of Lake Harriet. The walkout lower level has the original terrazzo floor, plus a family and exercise room, pool changing room, steam shower and sauna.
Now that some of the couple’s adult children have moved out, they don’t need as much space, and they’re hunting for a smaller house. The hefty property taxes — $54,209 in 2018 — are also a contributing factor to wishing to sell.
The Wrights listed the five-bedroom, seven-bathroom property in April 2016.
This month, they’ve reduced the price by $1 million to attract more potential buyers.
“If we could cut the house in half, we would stay,” said David.
• The living room opens to the upper-level terrace with a wood-burning fireplace.
• All the bathrooms, except a vintage blue-tiled Art Deco space, have been updated.
• Four fireplaces, including the pizza oven.
• New windows throughout the home.
• An elevator that goes to all four levels, including the attic.
• High-demand location close to Linden Hills shopping, restaurants, Grand Rounds biking trail and downtown Minneapolis. “In the winter, we skate across the lake,” said David.
Barry Berg, 612-925-8404, and Chad Larsen, 612-925-8455, of the Berg Larsen Group of Coldwell Banker Burnet, have the listing.