Prindle House

The Prindle House photographed in 1959 by Lyman Nylander. [Image: UMD Martin Library]

2211 Greysolon Road | Architect: William A. Hunt | b. ca. 1900

William Prindle was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and grew up in Wilmington, Illinois, where he met Mina Merrill. After working for several railroads, Prindle
came to Duluth in 1887 to work with Charles Clague selling real estate, and he and Mina married the following year. Five years later he and his brother-in-law E. A. Merrill organized the firm of W. M. Prindle & Company, which quickly became one of the Zenith City’s foremost real estate firms, specializing in what their advertisements described as “high-class properties.” As Prindle and others began developing Duluth’s East End around 1900, he and Mina decided it was time to build a high-class home for themselves and their daughter, Muriel, in the same area, hiring Duluth architect William Hunt to design them a three-story Spanish Revival mansion on five acres along the upper 2200 block of Greysolon Road.

Faced in gray cement stucco and trimmed with stone and wood stained to match, the house is topped with a hipped roof with wide, flared eaves supported by exposed rafters and clad with green tile. Similarly flared hipped dormers protrude from the third floor, each inset with a triptych of Roman-arch windows. That Mediterranean touch is carried through on the second floor with Roman arches featured in both a Palladian window and an arcaded porch that also features scalloped gables.

The Prindles hired a pair of prominent Minneapolis interior designers, William A. French and John S. Bradstreet, to outfit the house’s 7,866 square feet of finished space. French, a noted woodworker, would supply most of the furniture while Arts & Crafts specialist Bradstreet would do much of the decorating. Working closely with Mina, Bradstreet chose a variety of architectural styles and Japanese influences, including furniture and panelling made of sugi-finished wood throughout the Prindles’ living room. The five-bedroom, five-bathroom house also includes a third-story ballroom, and several of its fireplace surrounds feature Favrile glass tiles from Tiffany Studios. Chester and Clara Congdon were apparently so impressed by the Prindle home they hired French and Bradstreet to work on the interior of their home.

William Prindle died in 1944 at age eighty-three. Mina—who sat on Mayor Sam Snively’s advisory park board in the 1920s and donated the land for Janette Pollay Park (named for her mother)—outlived him by nearly twenty years, just missing her one hundredth birthday in 1963. The house stayed in the family until 1981 when Wheaton Bissell Wood, the Prindle’s grandson, arranged for the Minneapolis Institute of Art to remove the living room’s paneling, fireplace, and furniture and reconstructed it at the Institute as an example of Bradstreet’s work. It is still exhibited today.

The Prindle house was then purchased by the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, who used the building as both their home and the home of the John Duss Music Conservatory, which taught music to students of all ages. The conservatory closed in June 2009, but the sisters continued to live in the house until it was purchased in 2013 by Advocate Community, Inc., for use as the Marty Mann Halfway House.


The Prindle House photographed in 2009 by Dennis O’Hara. (Image: Northern Images)

To see modern exterior and interior photographs of this house and learn more about its architecture, visit Twin Ports Past’s post about the house HERE.