The exotic white house on the corner lot overlooking Lake of the Isles has long been a local landmark.
"It's one of the most prominent, recognizable homes in the Twin Cities," said real estate agent Bruce Birkeland of Coldwell Banker Burnet.
Midwest Home magazine went even further, naming it one of the "25 Most Iconic Homes" in Minnesota.
What makes it such a star? Start with its unusual-for-Minnesota architectural style — Spanish Revival — and its elevated, high-visibility lot. Then there's the way it sits on that lot, with its curving veranda topped with a fanlike pergola. Add lush Versailles-worthy landscaping, and the home's grandeur stands out, even by Lake of the Isles standards.
"Minnesota's own Mediterranean villa and quite a showstopper," is how Larry Millett described it in architectural guidebooks to the Twin Cities and the Minneapolis Lakes district.
The showy villa set the record — twice — as the highest-priced house ever sold in Minneapolis, first in 2004 when it sold for $4 million, and again in 2009 when it went for $4.859 million.
It's now back on the market but not likely to set a third record; listed at $5.995 million, it's priced below the $6.3 million that a downtown condo fetched in 2016.
When it was built in 1911, the house cost $10,400 — more than three times the price for an average house at the time. It was designed by architect Frederick Soper for Charles and Anna Buholz, who had operated a millinery store in Appleton, Minn.
The Buholzes entertained frequently in their grand home, and their parties made the society pages, according to newspaper archives. But the fun didn't last long.
By 1920, Charles had taken out a huge mortgage to pay for repairs — and his divorce attorney. The following year, the couple did divorce, with Anna claiming "cruel and inhuman treatment" over Charles' employing "spies" in the house to gather evidence he could use against her in divorce court. The judge sided with Anna. She got the house — and continued to host newsworthy parties there.
Over the years, the house underwent many changes. One owner converted the 15-room mansion into three apartments. By 1988, it was "a tarnished jewel that badly needed polishing," according to house historian Bob Glancy.
Architectural designer Elizabeth Hyatt, who revived a number of high-profile historic houses in the Twin Cities, bought it that year for $465,000 and restored it to a single-family home.
Subsequent owners, who have included Dept. 56 founder Edward Bazinet, also put their stamp on the place, updating the kitchen and baths, enhancing outdoor spaces and adding modern technology.
What does the house offer now?
• Over 8,400 square feet of living space, including four bedrooms, eight bathrooms and a six-car garage.
• Lots of natural light, thanks to a center core "light box" with a massive skylight.
• A dining room with a curved wall of windows overlooking the lake.
• A luxurious owner's suite with two spa bathrooms, a sitting area, two walk-in closets, an office, a wall of glass and a private deck.
• A new gourmet kitchen with marble countertops, heated herringbone floors, European cabinets, a pricey La Cornue range and a tabletop beverage system that can brew coffee at the touch of an iPad.
• A home theater, game room, gym, solarium and sauna.
• A large gated lot with high-tech "embassy-esque" security systems and multiple patios, decks and terraces.
• But no basement. All the rooms are above grade.
Bruce Birkeland of Coldwell Banker Burnet has the listing, 612-925-8405, email@example.com.
Staff writer Lynn Underwood contributed to this report.