Putting ultramodern additions on traditional older houses is increasingly common these days. But it was unusual in the 1980s when Dolly Fiterman, the late philanthropist, art dealer/collector and gallery owner, put a very contemporary-style addition onto the back of her stately vintage home overlooking Lake Harriet.
Fiterman and her late husband had raised their daughter in the original house, a Mediterranean Colonial designed by architect Albert Van Dyke, a former associate of Harry Wild Jones (designer of the chapel at Lakewood Cemetery).
The front of the house, which faces the lake, is filled with Old World character and craftsmanship, including graceful arched windows and doorways, wrought-iron details, hand-trowled plaster molding and a clay tile roof.
"It's beautiful 1920s Mediterranean," said real estate agent Adam Sullivan, Fox Homes.
But Fiterman's passion for contemporary art inspired her to go in a very different direction for the addition, which was designed by Korean-born architect Dae Min.
The back of the house is dramatic '80s glam — like something out of a swanky set for an MTV video or a Brian DePalma thriller — with soaring 30-foot ceilings, a two-story staircase, skylights, a bar, marble floors and even a suspended lap pool on the second floor.
With its high ceilings and tall walls, the addition was also Fiterman's personal gallery.
"It was designed to display artwork," said Sullivan. "It's business in the front, party in the back. There isn't a home like it."
The distinctive house with the two contrasting aesthetics was showcased in the coffee table book "Legendary Homes of the Minneapolis Lakes" by Bette Hammel and Karen Melvin.
Fiterman lived in her legendary home until her death in 2017. The house is currently owned by restaurateur Leslie Bock, creator of Psycho Suzi's and Betty Danger's Country Club, who recently put it on the market, listed at $1.55 million.
"There are a lot of Mediterranean homes but none that have the square footage and the views," said Sullivan. Although well-maintained and move-in ready, the house has been priced below comparably sized Lake Harriet homes to allow for some cosmetic updates, such as replacing shiny '80s brass hardware. "Or you can embrace it as it is," Sullivan said.
The 8,760-square-foot home makes the most of its Lake Harriet setting. All four bedrooms have lake views; there's also a walkout terrace facing the lake and even a rooftop deck.
The kitchen is of relatively recent vintage. It was remodeled in the early 2000s and features light oak cabinets, natural stone countertops and Sub-Zero and Viking appliances. Bock also has made some recent updates, including new light fixtures, carpet and custom storm windows, said Sullivan.
Other features of the home include another full kitchen in the basement, a sauna, walk-in closets and a secure "safe room."
Adam and Brit Sullivan, 612-770-2119, Fox Homes, have the listing.