1623 Dupont Avenue: Brombach House

HISTORY
Frank Raidt, the first owner and a local contractor, built this Colonial Revival home in 1903 with central heating. The home had no fireplace, which was unusual, but the rooms are highlighted by prominent, highly-decorative radiators. Raidt was very proud of his "modern" house, and was pleased that no dirty coal was needed anywhere in the house, except by the boiler in the basement.

A later family, the Gallaghers, had a daughter named Alice, who was born in the house and lived here nearly all her life. When she married a dentist, Dr. William Brombach, in 1940, she received the house as a wedding present. Alice told a story about putting the Christmas tree in the same place—the southeast corner of the living room—all her life. In 1941, just for fun, she decided to try something different. On December 7 of that year, Pearl Harbor was bombed and the United States became involved in World War II. Alice promptly moved the tree back to its usual location and never moved it again. The current owners continue the tradition.

The smaller room off the living room was called the parlor. When Alice’s mother died, she was laid out in the parlor for several days until she was buried—a common practice at the time.

A small, windowless room upstairs in the attic had a tiny radiator (now disconnected), and just enough room for a bed and a dresser. During the Brombachs’ time, their maid Mabel lived here. Dr. Brombach referred to her as “Mabel, Mabel, stout and able.” She later moved to a downstairs bedroom, now occupied by the current owner’s office.

The Erickson family, who bought the house in 1967, painted all the dark woodwork in the house white. A later set of owners, Bill and Joyce McMartin, spent a whole summer painstakingly stripping the paint from every tiny delicate carved area throughout the house. Joyce was later known to declare that giving birth to her children was a more pleasurable experience than stripping the wood that hot summer!


ARCHITECTURE
The house features a balanced, symmetrical façade; a low-pitched, hipped roof; a wide eave overhang with brackets; and a cornice line emphasized by a wide frieze. Note the full-width, one-story porch with classical Doric columns. The home has a classic oval window centered in the second story.

The interior of this home is a traditional classic Foursquare, with the kitchen, dining room, living room, and parlor in the corners of the first floor; a bedroom in each corner of the second floor; and a central stair.

All of the home's windows are original.

Images

1623 Dupont Avenue north ca. 2010

1623 Dupont Avenue north ca. 2010

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Old Highland Neighborhood Association, “1623 Dupont Avenue: Brombach House ,” Minneapolis Historical, accessed July 21, 2017, http://minneapolishistorical.org/items/show/16.
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