Real Estate Blog

Chowen Park

Chowen Park’s Post-WWII Construction Boom

  Chowen Park is one of the more densely populated neighborhoods in Edina, which is remarkable because the majority of the houses in the neighborhood were constructed in a handful of years in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Take all the disruption of construction today in portions of Edina, including in Chowen Park, and multiply it by scores. Practically the whole area between Xerxes and France Avenues from 54th to 58th was under construction at the same time.

   A scattering of homes existed in the neighborhood before World War II. Most were built in the Chowen Park, or southern, half of the White Investment Company’s Hidden Valley addition on either side of Minnehaha Creek. (The other half

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Samuel Thorpe: The Man Who Laid the Foundation for Luxury Living in Edina

   Samuel Thorpe’s idea was to sell lots for Edina luxury homes. But he was selling far more than prestigious real estate. He was selling permanence – with a healthy dose of exclusivity.

  Thorpe was the real estate man who developed Browndale Farm and adjoining land into the Country Club district of Edina, complete with its own golf course.

  Thorpe was an influential real estate developer nationally – president of the National Association of Real Estate Boards (NAREB) in 1911 – who implemented the concept of an elite suburb of luxury homes in the Minneapolis metropolitan area. The idea was to regulate growth and land usage by stringent deed restrictions.

  Many say

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 Affluence and Influence in Edina on the Banks of Minnehaha Creek

  The history of Edina foreshadowed its status today as a community of luxury homes and high-value real estate. In 1921, before Edina became famous for elegant homes, a writer noted that a portion of the village was “a mecca that drew from all parts many men of affluence and influence.” In a guest book at one famous property in Edina one could find, he wrote, “familiar names of people of many walks: professional men and women, business folk, artists, writers and theatrical performers. They came from many places.”

  The writer was Frank D. Tomson, writing in The Breeder’s Gazette, an influential Chicago-based periodical for cattle breeders. His subject was Browndale Farm. Browndale

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