The historic Turnblad Mansion, former home to Swan Turnblad, his wife Christina and their daughter Lillian, was once one of 40 mansions on the stretch of Park Avenue in Minneapolis known as the Golden Mile.
Swan and Christina both immigrated to Minnesota from Sweden in the late 1800s. With a farming background and a printer by trade, Swan emerged from modest means to become owner of the largest Swedish language newspaper in the U.S., the Svenska Amerikanska Posten.
The Turnblads commissioned architects Christopher Boehme and Victor Cordella to design this ornate home. Completion of the mansion took approximately five years from 1904 to 1908.
The Turnblad family’s worldly travels inspired much of the design for the 33 room Mansion. From the French Chateauesque style exterior to the finely crafted interior, including 11 decorative tile stoves imported from Sweden.
The Turnblad family only lived in the home until 1929, when they donated it to the American Institute for Swedish Art, Literature and Science - now known as the American Swedish Institute.
Learn more about the Turnblad Mansion and the ASI story on your next visit, or from the publication Turnblad Castle, available in the ASI Museum Store. You can also read this related article, Mansions of Distinction, from Leisure Group Travel.