Wanna Buy a Historically Protected Healy Home Built for a Jewelry Magnate?

Wanna Buy a Historically Protected Healy Home Built for a Jewelry Magnate?

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This story could be devoted entirely to the history of 3127 2nd Ave. S., a gorgeous Queen Anne home you’ve surely noticed while traveling along I-35W in south Minneapolis.

In fact, such an article already exists on the Josiah B. & Mary E. Hudson House, which was constructed for jewelry store magnate J. B. Hudson in 1890 by master builder T. P. Healy. Among the geographic draws amid the horse barns that dotted the area? The first electric street car line extending south from downtown along Fourth Avenue. Plus, as the October 6, 1912, Minneapolis Sunday Tribune advertised, ample card-playing opportunities:

Thirty-six architecturally linked “Healy Houses” once populated the district (consult that lengthy history here), though racially motivated, community-destroying freeway construction leveled 15 of ’em around 1960. Today, the 14 remaining Queen Annes are protected by the National Register of Historic Places and, two weeks ago, the Hudson House hit the market for $399,000. The four-bedroom, two-bathroom, 2,621-square-foot time capsule has already been discounted by $15K.

Among the selling points for old-home junkies: *takes deep breath* double-paneled exterior doors, arch-top Moorish windows, redwood siding, ornate millwork, pocket doors, inlaid hardwood floors, granite countertops, heated marble kitchen floors, new roof, updated plumbing and electric, and even a damn electric car charging station.

“Oh my gosh, it’s just stunning,” says listing agent Constance Vork with Keller Williams Realty Integrity Lakes. “It’s a real honor to be able to help the seller transition this home to its next steward or curator, as they tend to end up being on the Healy block. He’s been there over 30 years, and I didn’t know if he would ever decide to move.”

Vork has known the seller—David Piehl, aka the “Mayor of Healy Block”—for years, because she herself once owned one of the 14 historic homes. He’s on the move because of a job offer that was “too good to pass up,” she reports.

Piehl is leaving behind a property that he purchased for $32,500 in 1992, per country records, but he has poured considerable money, time, and love into the place over the decades. In ’92 the house was “a wreck,” Vork reports, and Piehl took painstaking effort to restore it with “incredibly historical accuracy”—stained glass windows, hand-stenciled coves with gold leaf accents, handprinted wallpapers, etc.

A burst pipe in 2014 caused “significant damage” to the home, though it provided Piehl an opportunity to gut and reimagine much of the property. His restoration efforts landed him a 2016 award issued by the Heritage Preservation Commission, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and Preserve Minneapolis. Piehl has also battled MnDOT over the years, pushing back against further freeway encroachment.

“We we often joke, those of us who are either Healy residents or Healy alumni, that it’s not for everyone; it takes a special type of personality to want to live there—there’s always something to do,” Vork says with a chuckle. “But the community is so tight. For those of us that love these old homes and the history they embody, it’s exciting to be part of such a supportive, likeminded community of folks.”

Let’s take a photo tour of 3127 2nd Ave. S., courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Integrity Lakes and Boulevard Real Estate Photography‘s Melissa Carlson.

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