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Wanna Buy a Midcentury Richfield Time Capsule for $425K?

Incredibly well-preserved and reasonably priced.

Elizabeth Benson/Keller Williams Realty Integrity Lakes

Old homes are at the mercy of whoever lives in 'em now.

Those oceans of original, old-growth hardwood? Poof! They can disappear under so-called luxury vinyl plank flooring. That adorable pink bathroom? It can be gutted, making way for a greige hotel simulacrum. Brick and millwork gets painted, kitchens get IKEA-fied, so on, so forth.

Thankfully, 7232 Humboldt Ave. in Richfield looks almost exactly like it did upon completion in 1958, and now the three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 2,023-square-foot house is ready for its fourth owner.

"The house flows incredibly well, as well as it did in 1958," says listing agent/current homeowner Tyler Schafer with Keller Williams Realty Integrity Lakes. "The original owners spent a ton of time helping design the house."

For $425,000, midcentury modern enthusiasts will find a lot to like...

  • A massive, two-level cement fireplace.
  • Floor-to-ceiling living room windows overlooking a .32-acre lot that's dotted with apple trees, maples, birches, and raised-bed gardens.
  • Original flooring throughout, including cork panels in the living and dining rooms.
  • Twin powder-blue sinks with matching tilework.
  • Original Westinghouse oven and stovetop, both of which work "amazingly well," Schafer says, adding that the oven was marketed in '58 as a "computer" due to its then-novel timing technology.
  • And, of course, the colorful basement that features a wet bar, wood-burning fireplace, and a very cool retro element: "There's a signature wall that guests, family and friends at parties, have signed over the years; there are signatures going back to 1958," Schafer says.

The one potential downside is location, considering the house sits just across Humboldt from the I-35W sound wall. More desirable nearby attractions include Wood Lake Nature Center, Donaldson Park, and the ever-evolving Southtown Center.

"The sound wall does a good job, noise has never been a problem," Schafer says. "And it's reflected in the price: If this house was on Nine Mile Creek or something, it'd be $800,000."

The home was designed by the regionally prominent modern architecture company Graffunder-Nagle & Associates. Graffunder, who taught for decades the U of M, racked up awards while building more than 130 residences throughout Minnesota, according to his 2013 obituary. Other examples of his firm's work include Normandale Lutheran Church in Edina, Calvary Lutheran Church in Golden Valley, and this Fridley home that last sold in 2016. (Click here to read about a library they were supposed to build at 54th & Penn in south Minneapolis.)

Schafer purchased 7232 Humboldt for $330,000 in 2019, according to county records. Before that, there had only been two owners in the home's history: Tom and Betty Stark and, later, their son, who shared lots of details about the property before handing over the keys. Down in the basement, a handwritten note from Betty is still taped to a bonus heating element for that Westinghouse oven, instructing the reader to not toss it out.

"The Starks had foresight about being stewards, and for the future owners to also be stewards who keep the house as original as possible," Schafer says. "Once we close it's the future owner's house, but it is so rare for a midcentury modern house to make it through the decades relatively unscathed. I hope the new owners will be interested in preserving it."

Let's take a photo tour, courtesy of Elizabeth Benson and Keller Williams Realty Integrity Lakes.

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