John G. Gluek Family Estate: Mansion and Carriage House

Exhibit By: Brooke Sheehy

This exhibit will show that the Gluek Estate, built in 1902, has housed a famous family of brewers and maintained itself as the first house on Bryant Ave and has served as the model of Victorian architecture with Georgian Revival detail and ornamentation for later Minneapolis homes in the early 20th century.

John G. Gluek Mansion & Carriage House on a sunny spring day in early May

The John G. Gluek Mansion and accompanying Carriage House create a significant estate that is one leading examples of the Georgian Revival architectural style in Minneapolis. Also, the house by itself is a masterpiece of one of Minneapolis’ most important early 1900’s residential architects by the name of William Kenyon.

The Colonial Revival architectural style first appeared in Minnesota in the late 19th century, starting with the Hinkle Murphy House in the vicinity of downtown Minneapolis. Shortly after this first introduction, the style made its way to a small suburb of Wayzata, where a whole street row of neo-georgian villas lined up along Lake Minnetonka. Proper economic conditions in Minneapolis kept homeowners in the city from building these elaborate and embellished masterpieces until after the turn of the century leaving Minneapolis filled with Georgian related buildings by the time that World War I came around.

The Gluek Mansion was designed and built in 1902 at the beginning of this extraordinary surge of neoclassical populism in the typical Minneapolis home design. Strikingly more clear than its Nineteenth Century precursors, this mansion in particular set the character and created the framework for the stages of the Georgian style that would shortly influence countless Minneapolis streets. Its resplendent front porch, opposition of luxuriant window ornamentation to extensions of free wall, and delicate blend of genuine Georgian embellishment with Kenyon’s expanding fancy for rectilinear waveform as a principal testament of the conversion from late Victorian to early modern architectural design.

The architect of John G. Gluek and Minnie Gluek’s house, William M. Kenyon, designed over 70 residences with the Georgian Revival style in the greater Minneapolis area, the Gluek Mansion being one of his firsts. While Neo-Georgian style continued to be an option, brick became the material of choice to many house owners which became “scholarly” designs. While the market wanted these scholarly brick houses, the Gluek mansion remained Kenyon’s “pre-scholarly or anti-scholarly approach” according to architectural historian Paul Larson because one of the most striking features of the house is that each of the rooms are designed slightly different with dissimilar coving in junction of the wall with the ceiling and glazing patterns in the windows.   

The Mansion and the Carriage House were not designed by the same architect. The Carriage House was actually designed by a different firm in the exact same year as the mansion. Two men by the name of Boehme and Cordella were distinguished architects from Minneapolis at the time who were responsible for the designs of many brewery related buildings in the area. Choosing these two architects known for their brewery designs was no mistake as John Gluek himself was an owner of the Gluek Brewing company downtown.

While the John and Minnie Gluek wanted to build home on Bryant Ave away from their brewery downtown, they still wanted to hire the architects who designed the Gluek Brewing Company and the Gluek Bar and Restaurant to bring a huge part of their life to the Bryant Ave neighborhood. All of Boehme and Cordella’s designs with the brewery, restaurant and mansion reveal that they were skilled neoclassicists who never failed to introduce absolutely distinctive eccentricities. The ostentatious style and cost of seven grand (over two-hundred grand in today’s market) were uncommon for additional residential structures in Minneapolis after the 1800’s. Because after the turn of the century horses were no longer a popular means for transportation, the structure was essentially immediately converted to a garage.

Sources Used:

**Source 1 PRIMARY**

Gluek Family Mansion & Carriage House. 2 May 2019.

**Source 2 PRIMARY**

 Bickal, Jim. “New Life for the Gluek House.”Minnesota Public Radio News, 16 Mar. 2007, http://www.mprnews.org/story/2007/03/15/glueckmansion.

**Source 3 SECONDARY**

 “Minneapolismn.gov.” Official Website of the City of Minneapolis, 8 Feb. 2019, http://www.minneapolismn.gov/.

**Source 4 SECONDARY**

Sowden, Cynthia. “Home.” MyNortheastercom, 17 Sept. 2018, http://www.mynortheaster.com/news/ne-a-long-time-a-brewing/.

**Source 5 SECONDARY**

“National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. “United States Department of the Interior National Park Service, 9 Jan. 1990. 

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