Armstrong-Quinlan House / St. Paul, MN
Victorian Beauty: From Eyesore to Elegance

The Armstrong-Quinlan House of St. Paul, Minnesota, built in 1886, incorporated a unique blend of architectural styles that eventually led to its being placed on The National Register of Historic Places. In the fall of 2005, the once-elegant but now decrepit building made a short but dramatic relocation to a new site a few blocks away. Power lines, mailboxes, traffic lights, road signs and even parking meters were temporarily removed to provide the 900-ton brick house enough room to make the move, which took a week to complete.

To restore the building to its original beauty would require more than a facelift – it demanded a complete overhaul. The new owners were required to meet historical standards as the house was gutted and remodeled into four elegant new condominiums — two side-by-side, two-story units, a third-floor penthouse, and a lower-level garden unit.

The house required custom-fitted, unique windows that had to match the look of the historical landmark while meeting modern expectations of functionality and energy-efficiency.

A unique blend of architectural styles

The living room’s Double Hung windows are grand in scale.

The master bedroom features three double hung windows with round tops.

Tall windows from the kitchen and dining areas open onto attractive views

Enter Marvin Windows and Doors. The building’s developer/owner, Benshoof Construction, partnered with Marvin design consultant Jeff Hoffman to review the needs of the project. Hoffman’s two decades of experience have given him extensive knowledge and understanding of historical materials and standards — especially important in this project, which came under close scrutiny from neighborhood, city, state and national historical agencies.

More than 65 new windows were designed and custom-built to match historical standards, each measured and crafted for a particular location to provide beautiful views from the restored house. A wide variety of windows was needed — from the grand scale of Double Hung windows for the living room and a triple set of windows crowned with Round Tops in the master bedroom, to tall windows from the kitchen and dining areas that open onto attractive views of the brickwork and wrought-iron railings of the elegant rear courtyard.

The final result in the Armstrong-Quinlan house is nothing less than stunning — residents are offered clear views of the city of St. Paul, the new Science Museum of Minnesota and riverboats along the Mississippi. Natural light fills every room and the windows will withstand Minnesota’s extreme weather conditions without losing either functionality or beauty.

From the outside, the building looks much as it must have over one hundred years ago, with refinished brick, new slate shingles and inviting windows that reveal the beautifully refinished interiors. The house itself has come full circle – from a landmark distinguished by unique design to a public eyesore and now back to a distinctive, urban residence.

Project Highlights

  • Dozens of Wood Ultimate Double Hung windows were built to meet stringent historical requirements, enhance the house’s classic look and provide significant energy efficiency.
  • Decorative, light-enhancing features like Round Tops and transoms add to the beauty of the new condominiums
  • Double-paned windows provide significant energy efficiency benefits to the historic home.

Building Type
1886 Queen Anne/Richardson Romanesque double home restored and remodeled into four condominium units

Units and Applications

  • Wood Ultimate Double Hung Windows
  • Round Tops
  • Bay window with Casemaster transoms

Lamperts Lumber & Building Materials
St. Paul, Minn.

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