Saint Paul’s Church and Parish House to be Featured in 2016 Minneapolis-Saint Paul Home Tour

by Kathy Kullberg, historian

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 9.31.58 AMThe Beim parish house and Saint Paul’s church are one of the main attractions this year on the annual Minneapolis-Saint Paul home tour. This year’s tour visits over 50 houses in the Twin Cities on Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1. This year is also the 100th anniversary of the parish house, which was built for grain baron,Augustus Leach Searle and his wife, Helen Smith Searle, in 1915 (completed in 1916). The architects were Trowbridge and Ackerman, as seen on a drawing in the first floor hallway, which was discovered by parishioner John Harrer while at a garage sale.

Searle owned and operated more than 400 grain elevators throughout the west and Canada during his lifetime. He and his second wife, Helen Smith Gardner, loved to travel, especially to Europe and Asia; this began a love affair with all things Asian. Their many collections graced the mansion during their tenure, but their real love was sharing their passion with the public. As a founder and trustee of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Searle contributed not only money but much of the jade collection that is on view today. He was also a co-founder of the La Jolla Art Center in La Jolla, California,

This spring, the Women of Saint Paul’s annual luncheon group will take a tour with its own private MIA docent, Bev Wiesner, wife of chorister Larry Wiesner, on Saturday, May 21. We will meet in the Undercroft for lunch, then proceed to the MIA for the tour. More information will be forthcoming in the next Messenger.

The home tour is only one of several events to be held at Saint Paul’s in celebration. In its long history as one of the first Episcopal churches in Minneapolis, Saint Paul’s was asked by the diocese to mentor five mission churches, of which four are very strong and active: Saint John’s Linden Hills, Saint James on the Parkway, Saint Luke’s, all in Minneapolis; and Saint David’s, Minnetonka Mills. Grace Church in south Minneapolis did not survive. Saint Paul’s was also the home church of two bishops: the Rev. Theodore P. Thurston, Bishop of Oklahoma in 1911, and the Rev. Richard Emery, Bishop of North Dakota in 1951. In celebration, we will welcome congregants from our sister mission churches and the descendants of the Thurston and Emery families to a special service on Sunday, April 24, followed by a reception and tours of the mansion and church.

Later in the summer, Saint Paul’s will host an antique fair where guests can bring their treasures for appraisal by a group of experts. Look for more information on this exciting event in a later issue.

We look forward to these joyful occasions to celebrate and renew our faith community. For the 100th anniversary of Saint Paul’s in 1980, the Rev. Mackey Goodman wrote, “We at Saint Paul’s Parish have a reason for being — and a reason for celebrating our past and our present. We also recognize our need to understand the reality of both worlds, so as to give each its due place in our thoughts and hearts. Then our eyes can be fixed on the future without looking away from the road along which we have traveled.”

Let us travel in love together into the future as we continue to make Saint Paul’s a vibrant