Dreaming of your own mini castle with scenic views and old-world architecture? This 1920s home nestled in the St. Croix River Valley in Hastings is back on the market for $2.9 million.
Designed by renowned architectural firm Ellerbe Becket, the four-bedroom, four and a half-bathroom home sits on 7 acres of land and is reminiscent of a fairytale — the grassy terraces, elaborate carved stone and picturesque turret are surrounded by woods, creating a perfect hidden getaway.
The home is leaving the current owner’s family for the first time in 60 years — brothers Arnold and Leonard Mikalay bought the property in the late 1960s to use as a weekend retreat. Arnold’s daughter Kathryn Szczepaniak purchased it from her father in 2014 as a second home.
“We’ve had so many wonderful times here,” Szczepaniak said. “The views are amazing, the solitude’s amazing ... you feel like you’re not even in the city.”
Nicknamed Villa St. Croix by its first owner, much of the house’s exterior is repurposed rubble, sourced from buildings destroyed long ago. One enormous arch once welcomed members of a Twin Cities church, Christ Episcopal, before finding its way to the villa.
The interior is also grand. The great hall’s massive, stone-arched fireplace and ornately carved wooden ceilings create a dramatic entertaining space, while the winding marble staircase leads up the turret to the bedrooms.
Views of the St. Croix River can be seen from the rooftop patio, the balconies and the many terraces on the triple-level home. Included on the property is a two-bedroom cottage, perfect for guests or a caretaker.
The structure and original Italian Romanesque architecture have been maintained for generations. Except for some necessary updates, such as a new roof and electrical system, Szczepaniak and her family have kept the property as-is.
“It’s like a slice out of time,” she said.
Outdoor opportunities are endless. Adjacent to Afton State Park and across the river from Wisconsin State Park, residents can access a multitude of trails. Prefer the river? The property has over 200 feet of private beach frontage.
For Szczepaniak, the views make the estate. During warmer months, she sits outside and watches the moon rise with the stars above the river. In the winter, the family builds a huge fire in the living room fireplace.
“The whole property is really beautifully thought out in every way,” she said. “It’s spectacular.”
Teri Kampmeyer, 612-308-1831, Coldwell Banker Realty Crocus Hill, has the listing.
Audrey Kennedy (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.