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Continued: Homegazing: Park Avenue's Venetian palace

  • Article by: LYNN UNDERWOOD , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 28, 2013 - 12:49 PM

Knoke was excited to hear that after 14 years, the historic landmark mansion would be back on the market. “If a loving owner buys it and lives there, it would be truly precedent-setting,” he said. “It would be the first time someone used a Park Avenue mansion as their home since the Cowles family moved out in 1983. It would show a renewed interest in investing in Park Avenue’s mansion district.”

So what about him? No doubt, he’d be the ideal steward for the historic, century-old beauty.

“I would move in tomorrow — if someone wanted to donate the mansion to me,” he said.

Other features

• The three-story limestone home boasts four bathrooms, 12 bedrooms, as well as a sewing room and sitting room on the upper levels.

• Eight fireplaces with surrounds ranging from mahogany to Egyptian marble.

• The home has no kitchen, just a break room in the basement. “The original kitchen, butler’s pantry and servant’s dining room are storage space, but could be restored to their original use or combined into one very large custom kitchen,” said listing agent Constance Vork.

• The billiards room features an Arts and Crafts quarter-sawn oak fireplace. “It was ahead of its time and a precursor to Arts and Crafts becoming popular in the Twin Cities,” said Knoke.

• A walk-in vault in the basement still works.

• An underground tunnel leads from the basement to the heated garage.

• Furniture sales are negotiable.

Constance Vork of Lakes Area Realty has the listing,


Lynn Underwood • 612-673-7619


    What: Ryan Knoke will narrate two walking tours highlighting homes along Park Avenue in Minneapolis.

    When: Part 1: “Mansion District, the Age of Opulence,” 6- 8 p.m. Aug. 27. Part 2: “Southern District — Queen Annes, Classical Revivals and Stories of Their People,” 6-8 p.m. Sept. 3.

    Tickets: $8. Register at

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