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ELIZABETH (LISL) SCHEU CLOSE (1912-2011)

Elizabeth (Lisl) Scheu Close was born in Vienna, Austria. She grew up in a house designed by Adolf Loos in 1913. Artists were frequent guests, including Ezra Pound and John Gunther. She studed architecture at the Technische Hochschule in Vienna. She left Austria in August 1932—before the arrival of the Nazis—arrived in New York and got an MA in architecture from MIT in 1935. While at MIT, Close met her future husband, Winston "Win" Close (1906-1997), a graduate student.

It was hard for women to enter the architecture profession at the time; after being rejected by two firms, she accepted an appointment by the third and started work in Philadelphia, working under architect Oscar Stonorov. In 1936, she joined the firm in Minneapolis where Winston was employed, Magney and Tusler. They established their own firm, Close and Scheu Architects, in 1938, building flat-roofed, streamlined homes. Winston and Elizabeth Close married in 1938, at which time her professional status was so unusual that the local paper ran an article titled "Architect Weds Architect." Elizabeth ran the practice while her husband was away during WWII and from 1950–1971 when he was head architect to the University of Minnesota. In 2002, Close was awarded the AIA Minnesota Gold Medal. Bio adapted from Wikipedia. Research by Catherine Westergaard Cramer.


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1938 - The Faulkner House, aka The Gertrude and Benjamin Lippincott House, 252 Bedford Street SE, Minneapolis MN. First house in Minnesota inspired by the International Style. Originally built for 3 bachelors: Ray Faulkner, E. Zigfield, and J. Hill. Sold in 1939 to the Lippincotts who had the Closes design an addition in 1940. Sold in 1997 to Judy Cornelius.


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1939 - The Willem Luyten House, 1940 East River Terrace, Minneapolis MN. Luyten was a Dutch-American astronomer. Sold in 1998 to R. C. and J. E. Lundin (Lundin Architects).


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1939 - The Tracy Tyler House, 1564 Fulham Street, Falcon Heights MN. The first of 14 houses that the Close firm built in the new University Grove houses built for professors at the University of Minnesota. The land was set aside by the university during the late 1920s and over the next 60 years, 103 houses were built for faculty members of the university. Several local architects were involved, including Ralph Rapson. Sold in 2017 to Joseph Miranda.


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1941 - The Joseph and Dagmar Beach Cabin, aka Skywater Cabins, near the intersection of Highway 35 and 10th Avenue, Osceola WI. Located on the shore of the St. Croix River. In 1963 another cabin was built next door for Northrup Beach, their son. The main cabin was sold to the Closes in the 1970s. Status unknown.


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1941 - 10706 Minnetonka Boulevard, Hopkins MN. Sold in 2014 to Molly Townsend and Shane Nelson.


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1942 - The Stark Hathaway House, 222 Melbourne Avenue SE, Minneapolis MN. Sold to Paul and Twyla Riddle. Sold in 1987 to Roger and Mary Page. Sold in 2000 to Degan Callerman.


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1942 - The Lennox Mills House, 1540 East River Terrace, Minneapolis MN. Sold to Helen Lifson. Sold in 1999 to D. C. and C. A. Balcom.


1946 - The Boyd Thomas and Art Naftalin Duplex, 19-21 Barton Avenue SE, Minneapolis MN. Sold to R. P. and S. Y. Halverson. Sold in 1984 to S. W. Peltier.


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1948 - The John and Dorothy Rood House, 1650 Dupont Avenue South, Minneapolis MN. John Rood was a sculptor. Sold to Lillian Davis. Sold in 1997 to Stephen and Roxane Gudeman. Sold in 2011 to John and D. Christakos, who did a renovation with James Dayton Design. A pool was added between 2010 and 2013.


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1949 - The Thomas O'Brien House, 1572 Northrop Street, Falcon Heights, St. Paul MN. A University Grove house. Sold in the 1950s to William Lipscomb. Sold in the early 1960s to Harold Stevenson. Sold later in the 1960s to Donald F. Moores. Sold in 1972 to William and Barbara Shively.


1950 - The Whiting House, 622 East School Street, Owatonna MN.


1950 - The Henry Hartle House, 719 Harriet Avenue, Owatonna MN. Sold to Robert and Ruth Bullock.


1950 - The Ray Johnson House, 2700 Glenhurst Avenue, Minneapolis MN. Sold in 1984 to S. and R. Foldes.


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1951 - The Harold Deutsch House, 90 Seymour Avenue SE, Minneapolis MN. Sold to M. and J. Barnum. Sold in 1999 to N. Hammond.


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1951 - The Meehan House, 1580 Northrop Street, Falcon Heights, St. Paul MN. Mr. Meehan was still living in the home at his death in 2001. Sold to Alan G. Smith.


1951 - The Lyndon M. King House, 1941 Penn Avenue South, Minneapolis MN. Sold in 2017 to Marsha Larson.


1951 - The Cecil Watson House, 3318 Edmund Boulevard, Minneapolis MN. Built by H. Munson. Sold in 1986 to Scott Saylor. Sold in 2011 to the Debra Cohen Trust.


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1953 - The Winston and Elizabeth Close House, 1588 Fulham Street, Falcon Heights, St. Paul MN. A University Grove house. Deeded to Robert Close. Sold to Hisham Bizri.


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1953 - The Robert L. James House, 2202 Folwell Avenue, Falcon Heights, St. Paul MN. A University Grove house. Sold late 1960s or early 1970s to Allan McCoid. Sold to James and Mary Litsheim. Sold in 2015 to Paul Harding and Sarah Langford. Sold in 2020 to Colleen Wilson.


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1954 - The Phillip and Marion Raup House, 1572 Fulham Street, Falcon Heights, St. Paul MN. A University Grove house. Sold in 2017 to Christopher Buchanan.


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1954 - The William P. Martin House, 2285 Hoyt Avenue West, Falcon Heights, St. Paul MN. A University Grove house. Still owned by the Martins in 1971. Sold to Peter S. Wells.


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1954 - The Walter Heller House, 2203 Folwell Avenue, Falcon Heights MN. A University Grove house. Professor Heller lived in the home until his death in 1987. Sold in 1991 to Trisha Beuhring.


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1955 - The Ivan and Veronica Frantz Jr. House, 2286 Folwell Avenue, Falcon Heights MN. Sold in 2014 to Steven McCarthy.


1955 - 4004 Inglewood Avenue South, Brooklyn Heights MN. Sold in 1971. Sold in 1987. Sold in 2020 to P. W. Kinner and N. J. Johnson.


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1956 - The Philip and Helen Duff House, 2800 Maplewood Circle West, Wayzata MN. Helen lived in the home until her death in 1988. Sold. Deteriorated. A local preservation group attempted to save it. Sold in 2012 to David and Kathleen Daniels, who learned that saving the house would be cost prohibitive. Destroyed in 2012 and a new house designed by local architect Tim Alt was completed in 2013, bottom photo.


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1957 - The Nixon House, 1578 Burton Street, Falcon Heights MN. A University Grove house. Sold in 1999 to Nancy Myers.


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1957 - The Geraldine and James Jenkins House, 2190 Folwell Avenue, Falcon Heights MN. A University Grove house. Sold to Richard Moore. Sold to Helen Bradley Foster.


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1957 - 450 Highcroft Road, Wayzata MN. Sold to Theron and Susan Hineline. Sold in 1983 to Alfred and Marilyn Ritchie.


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1957 - The Pearson Brothers Houses, 63rd Avenue North and Beard Avenue North, Brooklyn Center MN. At the time, Beard Avenue was Osseo Avenue. Close designed 8 models, including the Northgate and the Sherwood.


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1959 - The Jerry Hill Cabin, aka Thunderhead, North shore of Lake Vermilion MN.


1959 - The John and Theta Wolf House, 1585 Burton Street, Falcon Heights MN. A University Grove house with an atrium and a dumbwaiter. Sold in the 1960s to Richard Jordan. Sold to Ken Keller. Sold in 1987 to Dudley Riggs and Pauline Boss, who added a Winston Close-designed two car garage and a pool in the 1990s. They also updated the kitchen and removed the aqua Formica counters and linoleum floor. Sold in 2015 to Peter Bahl.


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1961 - 4840 James Avenue South, Minneapolis MN. Sold to Audrey Seljeskog. Sold in 1989 to Orville Weiszhaar. Sold in 1993 to Nielsen Hunsberger.


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1962 - The Don and Lib Lawrence House, 2420 34th Avenue South, Minneapolis MN. Sold in 2000 to Steven and Dagmara Larsen.


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1963 - The Allan Solem House, 2170 Folwell Avenue, Falcon Heights MN. A University Grove house. Sold to Eugene Ozasky.


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1964 - 4029 Silver Lake Terrace NE, St. Paul MN. Sold in 2018 to Noelle Noyes.


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1965 - The Joseph Olson House, 2124 Folwell Avenue, Falcon Heights MN. A University Grove house. Sold in 2020 to Daniel Voytas.


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Mid-1960s - The Donald Judkins House, 2310 Huntington Point Road West, Wayzata MN. Destroyed around 1994.


1966 - The Paul Redleaf Addition, 2090 Upper St Dennis Road, St. Paul MN. Original house built in 1952. Addition on the back side of the house was 900sf and included a living room, dining room, and master suite.


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1970 - The Low-Moderate Income Housing Studies, Minneapolis-St. Paul MN. Unsure if built. In 1970 a nonprofit was formed by AIA Minneapolis to design low to moderate income housing. Close Associates was chosen to design the houses.


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1984 - Townhomes, East River Parkway and Dartmouth Avenue SE, Minneapolis MN. 28 townhomes built.


Sources include: Elizabeth Scheu Close: A Life in Modern Architecture.