3145 2nd Ave. So.: William L. & Cordelia Sumner House

A Healy house waiting to be restored

Built: 1889
Cost estimated on building permit: $6,000

This, the eighth house that T. P. Healy built in the district, was first owned by William Sumner, a real estate speculator, and his wife Cordelia. In 1896 the Sumners moved to 3132 Clinton Ave. So. He suffered from neuralgia and believed that an early morning drive helped his condition. However, upon returning from a drive in 1897, he “dropped dead,” according to a newspaper report.

William and Kate Lancaster purchased the house from the Sumners in 1896. William, a native of Maine, was an attorney who became a district court judge. He served as president of the Minnesota Bar Association, was a director of First National Bank, and a member of the Minneapolis Club. In 1914, William and Kate moved to 2008 Pillsbury Avenue South, another house built by Healy.

3145 2nd Ave. So. has not been restored; its exterior is covered with cement asbestos siding that was installed in 1954. The house was converted to a fourplex in 1958. However, we can still read many of Healy’s signature features:
• The house is cross-gabled with the side gables subordinated to the main ridge and with a steep roof pitch.
• There is probably a decorative panel below the triple attic window, though covered by the siding.
• The front gable end is cantilevered over the second floor, creating a second-story porch.
• There may be a decorative frieze encircling the house, as this was a common feature in Healy’s 1880s houses.
• The south corner of the front façade features a polygonal bay.
• The two-story bay on the south side was probably the base for a third floor porch, which typically would have been enclosed with a balustrade.
• Healy’s chimneys are often remarkable, and this one, ornamented by bands at the top, is no exception.

Healy built the barn in 1889. Then, in 1898, he took out a permit to “repair” the house. The cost of these repairs was estimated at $1,000; however, we do not know what work was done. In 1908, the barn was converted to a garage and the two porches were converted to Tudor style with the addition of four-centered arches. The barn-turned-garage, which burned in 1939, has been remodeled twice. The enclosed back porch may have replaced an original open porch.

Wholesale remodeling, as was done here, was the fate of many Queen Anne houses. The style became passé around the turn of the 20th century and owners “updated” their Queen Annes with Tudor and other stylistic makeovers.



Private Property