See more of the story

Back when it was just her, Ellen Anderson bought what was then a one-bedroom house in Como Park in 1993.

Nearly three decades and many remodels and additions later, the home grew as her family grew and now has four bedrooms and three bathrooms. With her children grown, Anderson is ready for the next phase in her life and has listed the 2,200-square-foot house in a prime location.

Location, location

Anderson said a highlight of the 1920 house, near Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul, is the large south- and west-facing windows that allow sunshine to stream in. During the warm-weather months, those windows offer views to English-style gardens.

The home, steps away from Como Lake, also makes it a great place to raise children in the city without feeling the hustle of urban life, Anderson said. There's ample opportunity to golf and cross-country ski at the nearby Como Park Golf Course. Families flock to the Como Lakeside Pavilion, especially in the summer months, for free live music.

"One of the things I loved was it wasn't too loud," she said. "In the middle of winter, you really have that opportunity to inhale that fresh air. It is a little oasis in the middle of the city and it doesn't feel like the city."

Expanding horizons

Inside, a wood-burning stove sits in the middle of the living space area — it was the first improvement Anderson made all those years ago.

"It didn't have a fireplace in it when I first bought the house," Anderson said. "I just love it. It's a great way to heat up the home and it's so cozy, especially when it's chilly outside."

Then she pulled back the linoleum and found beautiful hardwood floors beneath, which have been visible ever since throughout the main floor. She remodeled the kitchen, doubling its size and matching the color of the cabinets to the pale golden wooden panels on the floor.

With two growing boys, the home started to feel cramped. So 15 years ago, Anderson hired the Transformed Tree in St. Paul to build an entire upstairs addition with a second family room, another bedroom and a primary bedroom suite.

"You have a large living space, wooden floors, an owner's suite with a walk-in bath, which is rare for Como, and you can walk out to the balcony and see the lake," said listing agent Reed Aronow.

The basement was also finished and features another family room, an electric fireplace and a half-bath.

"They went high-end for the basement. They put in a luxury plywood ceiling that is original grain," Aronow said. "It's another really great space for entertaining."

Outdoor spaces

Aronow added that the yard is exceptionally spacious for the Como area because a road that was slated to abut the property was never built.

The back of the property already had a two-car garage and a carport. With so much room, Anderson added a large deck and patio for lounging and hosting friends and family. A balcony was also added above the home's three-season porch for additional outdoor seating.

"I loved to have parties there. I had many events and fundraisers for my campaign," said Anderson, who served in the Minnesota Senate from 1993 to 2011.

Nowadays, Anderson finds herself spending more and more time at her cabin along the St. Croix River with her husband. She hopes someone working in the Twin Cities will find the home an urban refuge from city life.

"I had so many good memories — so many wonderful memories from there," she said. "I hope someone will appreciate it enough when they buy it."

David Aronow (; 651-983-6169) and Reed Aronow (; 651-497-5958) of Edina Realty have the $600,000 listing.