3115 Second Ave. So.: Theron Potter & Mary Anne Healy House

One of several houses in the neighborhood where the Healy family lived

Built: 1892
Cost estimated on building permit: $6,000

According to Healy great-grandson Charles Woodrich, the Healy family moved seven times during its early years in Minneapolis. The family moved to 3115 2nd Ave. So. in 1892. The two eldest daughters were already married and out of the house -- Lena in 1890 to Rea H. Smith and Alice in 1891 to Frank Welcome Johnston. Healy son Charles married Nettie Helene Smith in 1892 and also was out of the family home. Thus, this household consisted of Theron, Mary Anne and six children—Dora (20), Erena (16), Reginald (14), Birdie May (12), Bessie (10), and Henry Chester (8).

This is the twenty-second house built by Healy in the district. 3107, 3111, 3115, and 3119 2nd Ave. So. and 3116 3rd Ave. So., across the alley, were all built in 1891. Healy built this house (3115) and 3136 2nd Ave. So. (demolished; replaced by the freeway) in 1892.

Two Healy daughters were married in this house -- Erena in 1900 and Dora in 1901. Lena, who worked in her father’s building company, moved back to this house after her husband, Rea Smith, died in 1902. Theron died in the house after suffering a heart attack at the age of 61 while walking around the block in February, 1906. His funeral was held in the house. Rev. Irving Peake Johnson, rector of Gethsemane Episcopal Church officiated. Mary Anne, Lena, and Bessie stayed in the house until 1922, when they moved to the Kenwood neighborhood, close to Frank & Alice Johnston.

In 1905 Healy built a large barn on the property (24’ x 40’) at a cost of $800. The house was repaired after a fire in 1935. An addition was made to the back of the house in 1950. In 1957, the original siding was covered with stucco. The house was legally subdivided into seven units in 1964.

Departing from Healy’s early Queen Anne style, the house has a hipped roof with a front dormer. The existing dormer has likely been altered. A beautifully ornamented brick chimney rises above the house. There are first- and second-story polygonal bays on the south end of the front facade. A second story bay at the north corner is cantilevered over the front porch. On the first floor is a corner round bay with curved glass windows. The porch extends across the entire front. The major difference from most other Healy houses is that the front entrance is inset and on the far left of the porch. The entrance consists of a single carved entry door with a transom, which contains the address, 3115.

Healy repeated this entrance organization two years later in 1893 in the Orth House, 2320 Colfax Avenue So. From that point on, it would become his main way of organizing the entryway when he was both designer and builder. By moving the entrance to the side, he was able to organize his interior space differently. In this house, he placed his office at the front corner of the house. The entrance now opens into a “living hall” that includes the staircase and can be closed off from the other downstairs rooms by pocket doors.

In 2007, the house was purchased by Ioannis and Connie Nompelis. After their divorce, Ioannis has continued living in the house. He has actively advocated for preservation of the Healy Block and has been generous in opening the house to tours organized by the Healy Project and Preserve Minneapolis.

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