Walnut Ridge Update
We took a drive this past weekend to see what has been going on with our favorite Gonzales mansion. If you follow me you may remember my previous posts about this house. Rumored to have been stuck in a nasty inheritance battle, the home was left to rot for many years. The city was finally able to compel the owners to replace the roof and shore up the porch.
Our first visit (not pictured) was a few years ago. You could barely see the house through the forest of overgrown trees, bushes and weeds. The front walk was more grass than stone.
Our second visit (3rd picture) was in June of 2017 just after the new roof had been done. The house was in severe disrepair but the grounds had been cleaned up a bit.
We stopped by in December (2nd picture) while in town for the historic holiday home tour and were surprised to see a construction sign in the yard and the porch in the midst of being dismantled. A neighbor told us the city convinced the owners to at least shore up the porch.
This weekend (1st) picture we were pleasantly surprised to see paint work going on and the original columns had been repaired and put back in place. The capitols are still sitting in an open garage on the property but a few must have been in good enough shape that they were left in place so it stands to reason the others will be repaired and replaced. There does not seem to be any interior work being done and most of the windows are still boarded up so it appears the efforts really are just a result of city pressure to shore up the porch. Either way I’m glad the work is being done and would welcome the opportunity to own and love this house one day.
Saturday 14 July 2018
**I took a few pictures around the property I’ll post shortly**
Corner of University Ave & Cedar St....Perched on a hill with city views once stood the #lostmansion of entrepreneur John L. Merriam. Son of an iron manufacturer from NY, John had ambitious businessman blood in him when he arrived at St.Paul in 1860.
Merriam further secured his business future by marrying the only sister of another ambitious businessman Amherst Wilder. Both would start many partnerships together becoming very rich as they added banking, railroads, real estate, wholesale, lumber to their many enterprises.
Both men already living in mansions chose to build newer & grander mansions... Wilder would build in the prestigious Summit Ave neighborhood while Merriam would choose the newest mansion district of “Capitol Heights”. Built in 1887, John Merriam chose Romanesque....the style evoking permanence, power, money.... his impressive manse would take a full city block. The main rooms were finished in various costly woods & a winding staircase lead to a balconied stair hall. Considered one of the finest homes in town, John would live only 8 yrs in it before he died in 1895.
Merriam’s widow no longer wanting to live in the immense pile, offered the house to be the states governor mansion in 1905 (since the Capitol was just across the street), but the state declined! However in 1927 the mansion did become the Science Museum of MN till it outgrew the building & vacated in 1964. Soon afterwards the house was demolished to make room for an administration building. Merriam’s Romanesque castle would be the last of the mansions to fall in Capitol Heights.
Please swipe to view all photos: photo#4 shows house in the 1950’s ...the neighborhood drastically changed & Johns mansion looking sad & shabby. Photo#5 the ornate staircase with a public drinking fountain installed when it was a museum. #romanesque#romanesquearchitecture ##romanesquerevival#victorian#victorianhouse#victorianarchitecture#victorianstyle#archi_ologie#archilovers#housestalker#houseaddict#oldhouselove#oldhouseenthusiast#iloveoldhouses#thisoldhouse#oldhousecharm#historichouse#houseportrait#ipulledoverforthis#loveofoldhouses#beautifulhouseoldandnew#houses_ofthe_world
Being able to offer my clients the most creative interior ideas executed with them at the centre of all our planning, is extremely rewarding. We pride ourselves @mypickone on our exceptional service delivery. Stop by for a consultation with myself and the team in our D3 studio to see what we can do for you! #interiordesign#dubaiinteriors#dubai credit photo to @ivanamaglione