The Elizabeth C. Quinlan House of Minneapolis is featured on the cover of our Autumn 2015 issue.


Photography by Ron Traeger

1711 Emerson Avenue will always be a special address to me: It’s the Italian Renaissance Revival house my husband and I rented in 2003. Built in 1925 by Elizabeth C. Quinlan, cofounder of the Young-Quinlan Company, the stone and stucco Minneapolis mansion epitomizes what makes Lowry Hill one of the loveliest neighborhoods anywhere.

You feel that sense of history the moment you enter. The grand iron and glass doors welcome with a hefty wink, while above, scrolled stonework frames the entryway splendidly.

Elizabeth lived in grand style in the home’s top two floors, punctuated with a dramatic, interior Juliet balcony. We lived in her sister, Annie’s, first-floor space, which had perfect proportions. Thick, stucco walls kept the rooms cool and whisper-quiet.

I remember the lavish powder-room sink, with its sculpted porcelain swan pedestal. The stone fireplace in the living room was so high and deep that it required a half dozen logs for even the smallest fire. And scrolled ironwork framed the radiators and formed decorative sconces.

But it is the perfectly poetic backyard garden that reflected a true sense of artistry, transporting visitors to the Italian countryside. A two-story wrought-iron staircase gracefully curves down into the courtyard. It is crowned with a cast-bronze elephant. A cobalt tiled pool anchors the space and reflects the azure sky above. All around, inlaid pebbles form pleasing scrolls, culminating in a dramatic Tree of Life design. A Lowry Hill treasure that is quintessentially Quinlan.