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Glensheen Estate

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Built between 1905 and 1908, Glensheen was a family home for nearly 70 years. It was donated to the University of Minnesota and opened as a historic house museum in 1979 and, here's the amazing part, the collection is intact.

The top hat in the closet? That was Chester Congdon's. The letters in the desk drawer? Those were written by Clara. The sheets in the linen closet? Organized by the Congdons' 2nd floor maid nearly 100 years ago. And that's just inside the mansion....

The rest of the estate is also ripe for exploration. With Bent Brook to the East, Tischer Creek to the West, and Lake Superior to the South, the natural landscape offers a complete escape from life beyond 3300 London Road.

"I will have quiet neighbors," Clara Congdon wrote in her diary, referring to the cemetery to the west of Glensheen. Nestled between Tischer Creek, Bent Brook, and Lake Superior, Chester and Clara Congdon envisioned a home that would serve as a calming refuge for their family for generations to come.

3300 London Road, Glensheen's address, was considered far-removed in 1905, the year construction began. By 1908, after three years and nine months, Glensheen was completed by transforming the heavily wooded area into an efficient yet magnificent estate.

By all accounts this conversion was not an easy task. The Congdons, the architect Clarence H. Johnston, the landscape architect Charles W. Leavitt, and the interior designer William A. French collaborated on the project.

Glensheen is a testament to the skills and craftsmanship available more than 100 years ago.


It cost the Congdons $854,000 to build Glensheen.

The ceilings are 16 inches thick and they contain large hollow tiles made of a fire retardant material.

A water reservoir was developed to supply the estate. This reservoir was gravity-operated and it was used for the fountain with enough pressure to propel the water almost 75 feet in the air. It is no longer in use.

Glensheen's main house has 39 rooms and covers 27,000 square feet of living space.

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