3123 2nd Ave. So.: Dr. Rufus H. & Addie K. Lane House

A Queen Anne exhibiting many of Healy's signature elements -- but stucco replaces the original wood siding.

Built: 1892
Cost estimated on building permit: $5,000

This is the twenty-fourth house that Healy built in the district and the last one he built on the east side of the 3100 block of 2nd Ave. So. The first owners of the house were Dr. Rufus and Addie Lane. Rufus owned a drug store at 501 Hennepin Ave. opposite the West Hotel. At various times it was named Lane’s Drug Store and Palace Drug. A newspaper advertisement promoted the following: “Purest Drugs, Toilet Articles, Soda Water, Etc. Fine Cigars,” with the tag line, “Careful Prescription Work a Specialty.” Rufus and Addie lived in the house from 1892 until 1908. In 1901, they hired H. N. Leighton to make changes costing $1,500. However, we do not know what those changes were. Rufus died in 1910; Addie in 1939.

Rev. James Cleary, pastor of the Church of the Incarnation, lived here from 1910-12. He was followed by Rev. Reese B. Kester, pastor of Simpson Methodist Episcopal Church, who lived in the house from 1915 to 1919. Newspapers noted that Kester celebrated his silver wedding anniversary in 1918, yet did not mention his wife’s name! Their two daughters, Doris and Katharine, were students when the family moved; they were listed in directories as teachers later on. The Kesters’ son Ernest was at the University of Minnesota, and then spent a year in the Navy during World War I. He was a yeoman, stationed at Inverness, Scotland, spending most of his time aboard the Canonicus, a mine layer. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on July 11, 1919 that “The Canonicus is said to have established the record for mine laying in the American navy in placing the barrage between Scotland and Norway.”

In 1942, the house’s original wood siding was replaced with stucco, which is much easier to maintain in Minnesota’s climate. In 1958 owner Jerry Hansen “removed projecting bay from first floor and replaced section of exterior wall,” according to a building permit. This is presumably on the south side, where Healy often placed a two-story bay to contain a staircase. The second-floor bay remains; the first-floor bay is replaced by a flat wall. In 1959 Hansen converted the building to two dwelling units on the first floor and two dwelling units with two sleeping rooms on the second floor.

With this house, Healy returned to the structural design of his earlier Queen Annes: cross-gables with the side gables subordinated to the main ridge. Instead of the window triptych of the earlier plans, he included a lunette window, a feature he first used at 3111 2nd Ave. So. On the second floor is his typical porch under the cantilevered gable; the original fretwork, turned posts, and balustrade have been replaced. The grouping of round-top Moorish windows over a large lower window with elaborate wooden moldings is a Healy signature. The original stained glass is gone.

On the main floor is a full porch across the front. The brick work under the porch may be part of the 1901 remodeling. If so, the bricks probably replaced Healy’s usual wooden scroll work. The original fret work, turned posts, and balustrade are all gone, replaced with simpler work. The original double doors remain, as does the rounded corner on the north end of the porch with curved glass upper and lower windows.

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