Minnesota Architecture: A home for Harry Potter?

Harry Potter fans, this could be your chance to live the wizard’s life…


This downtown Minneapolis abode is something Dumbledore would feel right at home in.

Image courtesy Curt Lund

Today’s nomination for our Celebrating Minnesota Architecture series is a bit of a magic-themed mystery [Editor’s note: not anymore! See below]. Who built it? Who lives there? Curt Lund doesn’t know, but the exterior of the building intrigues him:

For a little over four years, I’ve worked at Minnesota Center for Book Arts, located near the eastern edge of downtown Minneapolis in the Open Book building. And for all those four years, I’ve walked by this amazing and mysterious fortress, between Open Book and the Metrodome. Turrets, stained glass windows, a walled garden, medieval flags flying — it looks like a chunk of Ren-Fest dropped into our little corner of downtown. This house has affectionately come to be known as “the Wizard Jail”, because of this: an honest-to-goodness wizard (sculpture), breaking out of a barred second-story window. What in the world is this place? The mystery remains — mainly because I’ve never worked up the courage to simply go knock on the door and ask!


The “Wizard’s Jail”

Image courtesy Curt Lund

Update: Thanks to our dear smart State of the Arts readers, and an article in Twin Cities Metro, we now know much more about the house.

Built in 1911 as a blacksmith shop, musician Jeff Arundel bought the house from Sage and John Cowles (of Cowles Center for Dance), who used the space as a yoga studio/philanthropic office and abode.

That’s when he put metalworker Paul Tierney to work converting the space into a home for wizards.

The home is now for sale – for a cool $3.5 million.

You can see many more detailed shots of the home at Paul Tierney’s website.

Have a submission of your own for the Minnesota Architecture series? Send a photo or two along with your nomination to mcombs@mpr.org.