A believer in preserving old world charm, John Kistler has had his hand in a number of restoration projects in his home state of Minnesota. Turning his sights to the mansion district in Minneapolis, Kistler oversaw the restoration project of the famous Eugene J. Carpenter House.
Without the help of dedicated preservationists like John Kistler, much of the historic character of older cities such as Minneapolis would be demolished to make room for newer housing or professional complexes. Kistler is passionate about protecting the vintage properties in his home state from destruction, and he regularly participates and directly oversees restoration projects such as that of the Eugene J. Carpenter House. In this way, he upholds rich pieces of architectural history and creates new potential for the state’s historic homes.
When hearing that the Eugene J. Carpenter house was under discussion for demolition, John Kistler began mapping out his own plan of how he would save the mansion. His set out to restore the house to its former glory and convert the space into a B&B so that visitors and locals could enjoy its charm from the inside and the outside alike.
Over the years, the 17,000 square feet of the Eugene J. Carpenter house had become more and more unsightly as disuse and the elements took their toll on the historic property. Most of the property–including the original 5,000-square-foot carriage house–had fallen so far in disrepair that many officials believed demolition was the only option left for it.
The original owner of the house, Eugene Carpenter, was a Minneapolis lumberman who had his house built in the celebrated and ornamental Georgian Revival style. The home was designed for Eugene and his family by the prominent Minneapolis architect Edwin Hewitt over a hundred years ago. It stands as one of the great construction legacies of the city and sits in the historic turn-of-the-century mansion district of Minneapolis. It was constructed in 1906 and remained in the Carpenter family until 1946 where is passed into the hands of numerous owners.
In 1977, the Eugene J. Carpenter house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places for its historical significance and its iconic representation of the Georgian Revival style. In the last decade, however, the house mainly served as an office space that was divided into sections to fit each business’ needs.
However, John Kistler was successful in his restoration and converted the house into a beautiful historic B&B. In the process, he rebuilt the torn-down porch, repainted the home, and conducted extensive woodwork and rockwork around the property. The profits made from the B&B bookings will help pay for upkeep so residents of Minneapolis and interested visitors can continue enjoying one of the city’s architectural crown jewels for decades to come.