3137 2nd Ave. So.: Healy-Forbes House

One of two houses in the district lived in by T.P. Healy and his family.

Built: 1886
Cost estimate on building permit: $2,200

T.P. Healy built this, his first house in Minneapolis, for his own family, which in 1886 consisted of his wife, Mary Anne, and their nine children—Lena (19), Alice (18), Charles (16), Dora (14), Erena (10), Reginald (8), Birdie May (6), Bessie (4), and Henry Chester (2). The first eight children were born in Nova Scotia. Henry Chester was born in Bismarck, Dakota Territories.

The Healys lived here for a year before moving across the street to 3138 2nd Ave. So., another Healy-built house (demolished in the 1960s for I-35W construction). The second owners of 3137 2nd Ave. So. were Henry W. and Annie M. Forbes. Henry was the proprietor of Flour City Harness Co., a saddlery at 222 Nicollet Avenue.

When T. P. Healy began building this house, there were only three other houses on the block – all across the street: 3112 had been built in 1885; 3116 and 3136 were built in 1886. All three were moved in the 1890s and still stand today. 3112 is now 4252 Lyndale Ave. So., 3116 is now 2123 10th Ave. So., and 3136 is now 3322 Stevens Ave. So.

When the Healy Block was put on the National Register of Historic Places, the Healy-Forbes house was a duplex, covered with cement-asbestos siding, and had a two-story porch added to the front. In the 1990s, after the NRHP designation, there was a flurry of restoration on the block. The cement-asbestos siding and the two-story front porch were removed. The siding on the first two floors and the shingles on the gable ends were restored; and the original one-story front porch was rebuilt.

The Healy-Forbes house is the simplest, least expensive house on the block. The stated value on the building permit was $2,200. No images exist of the house in its original state. The house is transitional in the progression of Healy’s developing style – simpler than his later, more elaborate Queen Anne houses. The house does have one feature that became a Healy signature: the partial second floor porch under a gable. The slope of the roof is much less steep than the later houses on the block. The barn behind the house is one of three surviving Healy barns in the Healy Block Historic District.



3137 2nd Avenue South ~ Private Property