July 275:00 pm – 6:00 pm
July 2710:30 am – 12:00 pm
A Swede's way of saying “no worries”, this phrase translates literally to “no cow on the ice".
I had such a wonderful time at ASI that I became a member! Thank you for the excellent programming you bring to our Twin Cities community!— ASI Member
I had such a wonderful time at ASI that I became a member! Thank you for the excellent programming you bring to our Twin Cities community!
A trip to Minneapolis isn't complete without a visit to ASI— CNN
A trip to Minneapolis isn't complete without a visit to ASI
2600 Park Ave
Lovingly dubbed the “Castle,” the Turnblad Mansion on the American Swedish Institute campus is stylistically unique and massive in scale. Gazing up at its impressive structure, the towering turret and steep-pitched roof are reminiscent of French Renaissance architecture known as châteauesque. The hand-carved gargoyles, decorative lions and the Mansion’s storied façade are carved out of Indiana limestone imbedded with million-year-old fossils, which was mined from the same quarry as stone used in the Empire State Building.
The Mansion was built between 1904 and 1908, designed by Minneapolis architects Christopher Boehme and Victor Cordella – no doubt with input from their clients, the Turnblad Family. The Turnblad Mansion is one of only eight remaining structures built during Park Avenue’s heyday from 1885 to 1921 during a time when the street was known as Minneapolis’ Golden Mile.
The Mansion was a labor of love, and the work of master craftsmen can be found both in the exterior stone and in the woodwork and decorative plaster throughout the interior. The Mansion features 33 rooms; each room with a distinct style and décor – from Gustavian to Moorish. There are 11 tile stoves, or kakelugnar, imported from Sweden. The painted glass Visby Window oversees the Grand Hall: both unique and a vital connection to Swedish culture, for the Turnblads a century ago and for visitors today.
The Turnblads only lived in the residence for a short time – in fact, we do not believe it was ever fully furnished. In 1929, it was donated to become what is now ASI and has created its own legacy as a gathering place and cultural center for the Swedish-American community and local neighborhood.
“I had this idea in mind when I first began to build the home. I wanted it to endure to a hundred thousand years.”
The Turnblad Mansion was designated to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and for Heritage Preservation by the City of Minneapolis in 1974, and the journey into what it takes to preserve this historic place is ongoing. ASI continues to demonstrate its commitment to preserving the Mansion and uplifting its cultural and historical significance for future generations through ongoing restoration and preservation projects. Over the last two decades alone, ASI and the community have together contributed more than $13 million to projects that include restoration of the historic kitchen, repairs to the Mansion roof, stonework and masonry projects, repairs to the solarium, and others.
ASI has received numerous awards for this diligent attention including a 2015 Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums Buildy Award, 2014 Minnesota Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award, 2013 Finance & Commerce Magazine Top Projects of 2012 award, and 2011 Partners in Preservation Award for the Turnblad Mansion historic kitchen.
Today, the Turnblad Mansion is joined on ASI’s campus by the Nelson Cultural Center, a modern structure completed in 2012 that features expanded gallery, programming, event, retail and café spaces. Together, these buildings offer visitors to ASI an experience that weaves the past with the present, the contemporary with the historic. Efforts today will ensure both buildings remain for generations to come.
Join Curt Pederson, ASI’s Senior Curator of Historic Properties, on a journey into what it takes to preserve the historic Turnblad Mansion. In this video series, Curt and a host of special guests explore some of the unique, complex – and often unseen – activities that ASI and other historic preservation experts undertake every day.
Each episode looks at a different project performed to preserve the Turnblad Mansion, Carriage House and historic grounds in their entirety for future generations.
Turnblad Mansion & Collections
ASI and the community work hand-in-hand to preserve the Turnblad Mansion for future generations. Make a contribution to ASI’s preservation fund today.
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