In Wayzata sits a gracious home known as Meadow Knoll. And ironically, its greatest asset is also what's likely to seal its doom: 535 feet of coveted Lake Minnetonka shoreline.
"It's level sandy lakeshore, west-facing — prime, prime, prime," said listing agent Patti Jo Hermann of Edina Realty.
So prime that those who can afford the $12.5 million Nantucket-style cottage set on 7 acres mostly want to build their own lake home — or subdivide the land and build three lake homes.
"It probably will be torn down," said Hermann. "The value is in the land."
The listing doesn't even include interior photos, except for the sweeping porch with its view of the water. But the 6,000-square-foot house and its charming playhouse, "Pooh's Corner," have been showcased in two coffeetable books, "Legendary Homes of Lake Minnetonka" and "Boathouses of Lake Minnetonka."
"It's so sad," said Karen Melvin, who photographed the home for both books, of its likely fate. "That house is magical. It reminds of the waterfront grand shingle-style houses of the East Coast, with views of the water from every room."
She especially loves the library, with its metal French doors leading out to the patio. And the home remains in good condition. "A very elegant lady has lived there for more than 70 years, loving and caring for the house," Melvin said.
Built in 1926, the house has been owned by only two families, according to "Legendary Homes of Lake Minnetonka" by Melvin and Bette Jones Hammel. The original owner was George Piper, co-founder of Midland Linseed Products, which later became part of Archer Daniels Midland. He hired architect Andrew Schuehle to design a home that would allow breezes to blow through the entire length of the home, then sold the house in 1938 to John B. Hawley Jr., founder of Northern Pump Company/Northern Ordnance, a supplier of gun mounts to the U.S. Navy during World War II. Hawley and his wife, Zita, raised four children at Meadow Knoll. After his death in 1980, she remained in the home, taking up oil painting and undertaking a major remodeling and redecorating project. She remarried Bill Wright, an ad exec and world-class golfer who died in 2003.
The house has seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, five fireplaces and a stone terrace. For information about the listing contact Matthew Hermann, 612-221-7592,
Kim Palmer • 612-673-4784