Summit Avenue condo — with turret — for sale in St. Paul

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Imagine, living on Summit Avenue and looking out at the view from your own personal turret.

“It becomes magical during a snowfall,” says Gretchen Mitchell, the current owner of the historic condo-with-a-turret that goes up for sale on Thursday.

While we might not want to imagine snow just yet, the public can tour the unit at 684 Summit Ave. in St. Paul during an open house from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Even for those not in the market for a $525,000 condo (with monthly HOA fees of $585 and yearly taxes estimated at $5,802), it’s a chance to step into the history of St. Paul that dates back to the 1800s.

“I did some research and the architect, Hermann Kretz, also designed the Blair House on Selby and Western — where Nina’s (Coffee Cafe)  is — and the Commerce Building on Fourth Street in downtown St. Paul,” says Rob Glynn, the owner and co-founder of Vibe Realty, which is listing the property.

This building that houses three condos — one on each floor — feels like those other buildings, carved out of stone as if to impress, like Minnesota castles.

“It’s on the National Registry of Historic Places,” Glynn says. “It was originally built in 1893 for Joseph Lockey as a duplex with its sister building at 9 St. Albans. Each side was 6,000 square feet, with three stories and six bedrooms.”

The properties were later converted to condos, Glynn says, but both still maintain that Summit Avenue magic on a boulevard that is often described as our country’s best-preserved stretch of Victorian-era houses.

Summit’s magic is what drew Mitchell to the condo.

“My grandparents had a home on Summit Avenue when I was growing up and it was always a dream of mine to live in the Summit-Grand area,” she said in a text to the Pioneer Press. “Five years ago, I realized that dream by purchasing this condo in a perfect spot on the avenue.

“Living in a mansion that was built in 1893 makes me feel connected to St Paul history and proud to be a member of this community.”

Located near Dale Street, it’s a highly walkable part of Summit Avenue, with shops and restaurants around the corner on Grand Avenue and plenty of people-watching opportunities, too (including people on bicycles and people walking dogs).

“There isn’t a lovelier place to walk than down Summit Avenue!” Mitchell says.

A condo for sale on Summit Avenue features wood-burning fireplaces in a bedroom as well as the living room. (Homecoming Photography / VIBE Realty)

The condo is lovely inside, too. It offers up 19th-century features including wood-burning fireplaces in the kitchen and a bedroom as well as the living room, along with modern luxuries like a newly installed wet bar in the living room and a green Viking range that matches the kitchen cabinets.

The turret, located like a nook off the living room, has three windows and spots to curl up and read F. Scott Fitzgerald, who also lived on Summit once upon a time.

“The turret in my home is a great place to read, relax or watch what’s happening on the streets below,” Mitchell says.

Besides the views of Summit Avenue, the condo also has three bedrooms and two bathrooms in 1,785 square feet. The unit comes with an attached garage, in-unit laundry and shared common space that includes a large deck.

So why is Mitchell saying goodbye to the condo?

“I retired just over a year ago and wanted a smaller home to make it easier to travel for extended periods of time,” she explained. “What I didn’t want was to leave the neighborhood and I was fortunate to find a place just a few blocks from where I am now.”

View the listing by searching for “684 Summit” at

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