Vienna Linden Hills


A message was received offering an opportunity to
see a unique historic house on a wooded hill in
Linden Hills…

One-time Only Opportunity on Sunday:
The Robert T. Giles House

“On Sunday, April 25, from 3 to 5 p.m., there will be an open house at the Robert T. Giles house, 4106 Vincent Ave. So., in Minneapolis. At 4 p.m., architectural historian Richard Kronick will present a short slide talk in the house about the house and
its architects.

The Giles house is for sale. The open house, which is open to all, is being held in the hope of attracting a buyer sympathetic to the house’s historical importance.
The house was built in 1908 to the design of architects John Jager (1871–1959) and Carl B. Stravs (1882–1958). Both men studied architecture in Vienna where they became devotees of the Viennese version of early Modernism, called the Vienna
Secession. Jager reportedly studied with Otto Wagner, one of the Secession’s leaders. Both Jager and Stravs immigrated to Minneapolis in 1902. Robert T. Giles and his wife were artists; Mr. Giles owned an art glass business.

The Giles house has several unique features. It sits on a large wooded lot on a hill situated in the middle of a block. The house was designed to be completely fireproof. Walls are of reinforced concrete and floors and roof are of terracotta hollow tile.
The exterior of the house’s lower level is faced with smooth boulders, probably taken
from architect Jager’s property on Minnehaha Creek a few blocks away. Exterior window sills are blue glazed brick. Inside, there is a spectacular art-glass fireplace.”

whoever wrote the above…bravo!

Although the house has not been well maintained…it has not been remuddled either…it’s just been holding its own slowly deteriorating but not past saving and waiting.

Reminded me of the Glueck/Bowman mansion although
the Giles house seems to be in better condition…

The floor plan seemed original…I did not see evidence
of walls removed or additions…tiny kitchen…

So in this case benign neglect semi protected a treasure.

Some furniture looked art nouveau or
arts and crafts which seemed
to have been left in the house by the Giles’.

Not much stained glass other than the bold
irridescent jeweled mosaic fireplace mantle.

Some of the tools in the basement were fascinating…they looked as old as the house…
tools for woodworking…

Anyone with further information or photos…I invite
you to share those here.

All the preservationists present had the look of
intensity of those inspired to take action to save
this great house.

Richard Kronick’s lecture 4/25/2010

Virtual Tour

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