What is the ASI, you may ask.
American Swedish Institute
Part of the Institute includes the historic Turnblad Mansion
Newspaperman Swan Turnblad, owner and publisher of Svenska Amerikansak Posten, the largest Swedish language newspaper in the U.S., did what many affluent people did at the turn of the century. He built an imposing residence, which would later come to be known as the Turnblad Mansion or "Castle." It was a way to impress the community and display his wealth.
Swan and Christina Turnblad officially lived in the mansion from 1908 to 1929. In 1929, the Turnblad family donated their mansion at Park Avenue, Svenska Amerikanska Posten and the Posten office building and residence downtown, to the American Institute for Swedish Art, Literature and Science - now known as the American Swedish Institute.
The Turnblad family, Swan, wife Christina and daughter Lillian, took trips to Europe which inspired the building's French Chateauesque style. In 1903, the Turnblads commissioned architects Christopher Boehme and Victor Cordella to design their mansion. In the spring of 1903, the family purchased six lots on the corner of 26th and Park Avenue and got a building permit. Construction of the mansion took approximately five years.
The Turnblads purchased eleven tile stoves, or kakelugnar, in Sweden. Two were made by the Rörstrand Porcelain Company in Stockholm; seven at the Uppsala-Ekeby Porcelain Factory in Uppsala and two are unidentified. No two are alike. Since central heating had been installed in the mansion, they were probably purchased mainly for decorative purposes.
In December 1929, the Turnblad family donated their mansion at Park Avenue, Svenska Amerikanska Posten and the Posten office building and residence downtown, to the American Institute for Swedish Art, Literature and Science - what eventually came to be the American Swedish Institute.
What amazed me the most was the ceilings . . .
Carvings and paintings
In all the rooms
Old fashioned workmanship
That you only see in nineteenth century mansions like this
Both colorful and carved!
And those stoves . . .
This was my favorite --
(notice the one on top)
In the smoking room of the mansion
A man's room!
Daughter Sarah and I enjoy old Mansions
"America's Castles" they are often called
(and we both loved the show by that name)
And we enjoy visiting them.
This, in my opinion, is one of the best.
If you're in Minneapolis and have some time,
it's definitely worth it!