Charles M. Harrington House, 2540 Park Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Charles M. Harrington House

Charles M. Harrington House ca. 1963
Harrington Stables, ca. 1910
Address: 2540 Park Avenue S
Neighborhood/s: Phillips West, Minneapolis, Minnesota
City/locality-
State/province
Minneapolis, Minnesota
County-
State/province:
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1902
Primary Style: Renaissance Revival
Additions: In 1989 the current residents, Zuhrah Shrine Center, added a one story structure which contains an auditorium, club rooms, and kitchen
Major Alterations: Altered
Historic Function: House/single dwelling or duplex
Current Function: Zurah Shrine and Event Center
Architect or source of design: Frederick Kees and Serenus Colburn
Builder: Pike and Cook
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
First Owner: Charles M. Harrington

Phillips West Minneapolis Hennepin County

Charles M. Harrington House, 2540 Park Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota
(44.956586° N, 93.2651524° WLatitude: 44°57′23.71″N
Longitude: 93°15′54.549″W
)


Minneapolis architects Kees and Colburn designed the home at 2540 Park Ave South in 1902 for Charles M. Harrington, president of the Van Dusen-Harrington Company.

Contents

History

The Harrington Family
Charles Harrington was born in New York in 1855 and came to Rochester, MN in 1871 where he worked as a telegraph operator for the North Western Railroad. Two years later, Harrington began working for George Van Dusen, who had established a grain processing and distribution business, and in 1883, he became the head of the business’ Minneapolis office. Harrington and Van Dusen organized the Van Dusen-Harrington Company in 1889, which became one of the largest grain firms of its time (City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission). In 1907, the Van Dusen-Harrington Company and its subsidiaries operated around 400 country grain elevators and owned 50 retail lumber yards according to the publication Little Sketches of Big Folks. Harrington served as president of the company until his death in 1928. In additon, he helped organized the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce and served as its president from 1890-1900. Harrington was also a warden of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church for 35 years and a trustee for the Minneapolis YMCA.
Charles Harrington married Grace Ross of New York in 1878. The Harringtons had one child, Laura, born in 1883. Laura married Walter Hudson, president of JB Hudson Jewelers in 1905 and their wedding reception was held in the Harrington home’s ballroom. The couple lived with Mr. And Mrs. Harrington at 2540 Park Avenue until 1917 when they moved to nearby 2400 Pillsbury Avenue. A 1910 federal census shows Mrs. Harrington’s sister, Isabel Ross and three servants living with the Harringtons as well.
Harrington House
Respected Minneapolis architects Kees and Colburn designed the Harrington home in 1902 in the Italian Renaissance style. The team also designed the Grain Exchange Building and the Loring Theater (now the Music Box Theater). At the turn of the century, Park Avenue was home to many of Minneapolis’ wealthiest residents; the Swan J. Turnblad mansion is located across 26th Street East from the Harrington home. The first floor of the Harrington home contained a library, drawing room, dining room, den, kitchen and servants’ hall, while the Harrington family’s bedrooms were located on the second floor and a ballroom and auditorium filled the third floor. The home’s basement housed a billiard room and card room. The Harrington home was featured in a 1904 article in the national journal, Western Architect. The article praised the construction of the two-storey stable built behind the main house, calling it the “most perfect building for its purpose that has yet been constructed either in this country or in Europe” for its advanced sanitation system (“The Chas M. Harrington Residence,” 7). In the basement of the stables were boilers, which provided heat for the home. The article also described the interior of the home as “exceedingly elaborate” yet avoiding “hysterical bric-a-brac or extensive garnishment” (“Harrington Residence," 6).
Today
Since 1929, 2540 Park Avenue has been home to the Zuhrah Shrine Center and is available to be rented out for events such as weddings. The interior of the house has undergone numerous alterations; however, the main reception hall, grand staircase, and second floor gallery, which were constructed from mahogany paneling, remain largely unchanged as does the woodwork and decorative plasterwork on the ceilings, according to the City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission.

Memories and stories

Photo Gallery

Related Links

[1]The Harrington

[2]The Harrington Part Deux


Notes

1. City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission. “Charles M. Harrington Home.” City of Minneapolis. [3]
2. “Head of Grain Concern Dies in California.” Minneapolis Tribune, 28 March 1928, page 14.
3. Laura Hudson obituary. Minneapolis Tribune, 06 July 1973, page B8.
4. Minneapolis Ward 8, Hennepin, Minnesota. 1910 U.S. census. Roll T624_703, page 8a. From ancestry.com.
5.Northrop, E.B., “The Chas M. Harrington Residence.” Western Architect, June 1904, pages 6-11.
6. R.L. Polk and Company. Little Sketches of Big Folks. St. Paul: R.L. Polk and Company, 1907, page 174. [4]
7. R.L. Polk and Company. Minneapolis City Directory 1917, page 1034.
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