From Craftsman bungalows to Tudors, Parker Newcomb has sought out specific styles of homes.
When he was house-hunting four years ago, he came across a midcentury modern in Edina that took the cake, literally: It was built by the founder of Maid of Scandinavia, a cake decorating supply business.
The 6,000-square-foot home boasted an entryway with 22-foot ceilings and a terrazzo staircase with a curved brass railing. The house itself was concrete construction and had walls of glass and stone. The living room had glass on three sides.
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"I love architecture," Newcomb said. "It was such a standout in so many ways."
He didn't know much about the luxury home, which was built in 1961, or the neighborhood it was in. But he gradually learned more, with help from family members of the original owners and others who knew them.
Newcomb met a neighbor who told him that the area had been the former Schaefer Farm and that Dee and Mark Dalquist were the first to build. Soon Mark's brother H. David Dalquist — founder of Nordic Ware, the St. Louis Park kitchenware company best known for its Bundt pan — built a house nearby.
"The neighbor really knew the history," Newcomb said.
Newcomb eventually met Dee and Mark's son, Mark Jr., and their nephew David Jr., who grew up down the street. The cousins not only stopped by the house, but Mark Jr. also gave Newcomb an architectural model of the house, which was designed by architect George Mastny.
"To get the story of the two families working together and living together in close proximity was very cool," Newcomb said. "The house was built for entertaining, which is why there's big open spaces. They entertained a lot and quite formally. They [had a pipe organ and] would bring in professional organ players to play at parties."
Newcomb also learned that Dee and Mark had wanted a home as close to fireproof as possible.
"That was the driver behind all the concrete construction. Every ceiling, every wall is concrete. It's built like a fortress, it truly is," Newcomb said. "The construction is meticulous. I just knew it had to have a story."
Updating and listing
During the time Newcomb has lived there, he's made a few updates.
He remodeled the kitchen, installing custom Italian walnut cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and a 5-foot-long workstation sink, as well as quartz countertops and backsplash. He added a home theater system, updated several bathrooms and added a glass door off the kitchen for easy access to the balcony. Outside, he added a stone terrace.
While he's enjoyed living in the unique home, he's put the five-bedroom, five-bathroom home on the market.
"I'm going to start spending my winters on the West Coast. I'm downsizing here and getting a second place there," he said. "I'm going to miss living in this house. I have mixed feelings, for sure. But it's time."
Newcomb hopes that the next homeowner will enjoy the house's solid structure as well as the setting: on a nearly 1-acre lot overlooking a pond and located on a quiet cul de sac.
"The side yard here looks like it could be a soccer field, which is what the living room looks out to and this beautiful row of trees," he said. "The fact that you're so close to the city and have all of this natural beauty around is what really sold me."
Listing agent Gary Bennett praised the house for its design and livability.
"It just is so powerful architecturally. And for such a big house, it lives really well. The spaces are just incredible," he said. "They don't build them like this anymore. They didn't build many like this back then, either."
Gary Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org; 612-229-6972) has the $1.795 million listing.