Originally built in 1900 as the summer cottage of prosperous entrepreneur George Washington Van Dusen and his wife, Nancy, the mansion that once stood on this property— on the west edge of Lake Minnetonka’s Smithtown Bay—was impressive in masonry, size, and lavish interior details. In 2010, a fire badly damaged the estate, leaving behind very little that could be salvaged.
Rather than disregarding the historic nature of the property, a local family purchased the land and hired Nor-Son, Inc. to design and build their dream home, utilizing as many of the original pieces of the original mansion as they could including a 600-year-old Venetian marble fountain, now located in the home’s lower level, a brick wall, and a vintage Tiffany garden gate.
The couple affectionately refers to this home as their family’s “forever” home; reinforced with a custom infinity symbol throughout the sprawling estate (at the bottom of the swimming pool, for instance).
Unique elements include an underground garage with vehicle turntables, not one, not two, but three entrances (main, craft room, and mudroom), gallery-style backlit art niches displaying commissioned artwork, a contemporary glass enclosed main floor office, a sliding patio door—completely concealed within the wall system—expanding the length of the great room open to the lakeside pool, a wing of bedrooms with custom furniture and cabinetry, and a master suite with double crown molding, a personal balcony, and a master bath with laser inlaid mother-of-pearl tile. Everything in the forever estate is useful, beautiful, or sentimental— to be enjoyed by countless generations to come.
Read our article on this home: “A Family’s Forever Estate by Nor-Son”
Nearby Caribou Coffee: 23520 Highway 7, Shorewood