Amherst H Wilder Mansion

Amherst Wilder was a wealthy business man who like many others of the time, choose St. Paul's Summit Ave for his residence.  He purchased a plot of land, promptly tore down the 1860s home and constructed his $130,000 mansion in 1887.  Constructed of red brick and sandstone the mansion made an impressive statement.  Sadly Wilder only enjoyed the house for 7 years before his passing.  The home was occupied by his widow and daughter for a few years before being purchased by the Minneapolis, St. Paul Archdiocese in 1918.  The Archbishop apparently found the property too ostentatious and refused to reside there any longer.  In the summer of 1959 the church began to tear down the old beast of burden for a much simpler building.  Today this simple building is a true statement of early 1960s taste. 

Here is the replacement building:

If you like what you see and would like to donate to keep these projects going please feel free.  Any donations would be most appreciated! 


  1. As a practicing Catholic i deplore the actions of the Archbishop. The status of the archepiscopal office utterly justifies an elegant seat of residence. Besides, the Church should have shown more respect for the cultural and historic significance of Wilder's former home.

    1. It was such a great architectural loss to our city. I guess it was common thinking of the time that these old building were not worth the cost of keeping them up, heating them and all the work it took to maintain them. I could imagine discussions within the church touting a smaller, modern and easy to maintain building to replace the old white elephant. I sign of the times I guess. I would hope that if the same question came up in todays time, that much more effort would have been put into saving such an impressive and historic structure.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts