Skip to main content

The historic Pillsbury Mansion on Lake Minnetonka is being demolished

The building had stood since 1919.

What was once Minnesota's most expensive listed property is now a pile of rubble on the shores of Lake Minnetonka.

Demolition started on the historic mansion on the former Pillsbury Family estate on Monday, despite opposition from local preservation leaders and a late effort from entrepreneur Tim George to turn it into a wedding venue.

On Monday, a new owner closed on their purchase of the property for $7.425 million, and immediately moved construction crews in to begin the process of bringing down the 19,000 square foot property.

The Lakeshore Weekly News is reporting that the new owner is a company called Brackett Point Property (the address is 1400 Bracketts Point Road), and that luxury condos or a bigger house are being considered for the land.

It also notes that Melissa Williams, the daughter of Bobby from Bobby & Steve's Auto World, had a bid intended to match the company that bought the property, but without including the demolition.

The mansion was part of the wider Pillsbury summer estate, known as "Southways," which just 10 years ago was on the market for $53.5 million before it was split up into separate lots.

WCCO reports that the new owner said they were sensitive to the building's history and had saved anything architecturally significant.

Aaron Person, a Minnetonka historian, told BMTN on Monday that the demolition of Southways is one of "the most significant architectural losses in recent Minnesota history."

"It is a disappointment that Tim George, the Jundts, and the new owners did not come to an agreement to preserve the home," he said.

"Situations like this have repeatedly happened on Lake Minnetonka because none of the communities surrounding it (except Excelsior) have heritage preservation commissions that could enforce heritage preservation ordinances.

"Many of us hope for a silver lining to come out of this story as only a small handful of Lake Minnetonka's historic country estates and architecturally significant homes remain standing."

Follow Bring Me The News on Twitter.

The Pillsbury mansion was not on the National Register of Historic Places, but as Person points out, buildings can only be registered at the owner's will.

"It also does not prevent anything from being demolished," he adds. "It simply provides a sense of prestige to the owner and allows access to grants."

Next Up

Train Days

Historic locomotives to roll into St. Paul for Train Days

The festival at the Union Depot returns June 4-5.

Dalton tornado

Tornadoes, large hail, damaging wind possible in Sunday/Monday storms

The Twin Cities is among the areas that could get hit.

Redtail Ridge Elementary

Sunbather on the roof triggers shelter-in-place at Savage elementary school

The sunbather told police he was trying to "tan and relax."


The Raptor Center's ambassador, Nero the turkey vulture, dies at 47

Nero helped save the California condors before taking up his post as an education ambassador.

Ben Leber

Ben Leber named new permanent co-host of 'Twin Cities Live'

The former Minnesota Vikings linebacker was introduced Friday afternoon.


APM Reports, maker of 'In the Dark' podcast, nixed by Minnesota Public Radio

MPR said "select programming elements" of APM Reports will be incorporated into MPR News.

storm, severe

The latest on holiday weekend severe weather chances for MN

The most significant severe threats are Sunday night and again on Monday.

Arianna Vos

Charges: Driver was drunk, high in head-on crash that killed 19-year-old woman

The young woman killed in the crash was a college student studying zoology.


Historic Pillsbury mansion on Lake Minnetonka is facing demolition

The sprawling estate was once Minnesota's most expensive home.

Jacobs estate

Estate sale at Irwin Jacobs' Orono mansion postponed

Unforeseen family circumstances was given as the reason.

Gallery: Pillsbury mansion in Minneapolis is a stone masterpiece

The 115-year-old home has a myriad of standout features.

Orono mansion Shoreline Drive 1700

Mansion that was scene of murder-suicide hits market for $12M

The sprawling estate is the former home of Twin Cities businessman Irwin Jacobs.