Minnesota Historical Society

Legendary Homes of Lake Minnetonka

$ 49.95


Author Bette Hammel, Photography by Karen Melvin

Minnesota Historical Society Press (October 15, 2009)

A stunningly photographed volume that invites readers inside thirty historic and architecturally significant homes on beautiful Lake Minnetonka.


Hundreds of cottages and cabins, mansions and houses line the shores of Lake Minnetonka, one of Minnesota's most beautiful lakes and site of the state's most coveted properties. Legendary Homes of Lake Minnetonka invites readers into thirty of these dwellings–built by families like the Washburns, Pillsburys, and Daytons.

Evocative words and stunning color photographs guide readers through these beautifully designed and furnished homes. Portrayed in elegant detail are interiors of renovated Victorian cottages and rustic cabins, as well as those of houses designed by modernist masters like William Lescaze and Philip Johnson. Photographer Karen Melvin takes viewers through the front door, showing living rooms furnished with Mies van der Rohe couches and chairs designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and walls adorned with works by Robert Motherwell and Damien Hirst. Author Bette Jones Hammel relates the homes' histories of ownership and details the many renovations they have seen over time, renovations that have attempted to retain the homes' character and extend their lifespan.

For the best views of the exteriors of these homes, you would need a boat. To see the interiors, you would need an invitation. Hammel and Melvin have chosen the most interesting houses–both architecturally and historically–and painstakingly scouted out the best vantage points, both inside and out, to provide a personal tour of these spectacular homes.

Author information

Bette Jones Hammel is an architectural journalist who has written for Architecture Minnesota, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Midwest Home, and Architectural Record.

Karen Melvin is an interiors and architecture photographer whose work has appeared in Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, and Women's Day.

Reviews and news

In the media:

Star Tribune


  • 224 pages
  • 240 color photos
  • 12 x 9 inches
  • ISBN: 9780873517225

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