Thursday, July 7, 2011

Saint Mary's purchases south Minneapolis properties

$2 million anonymous gift helps purchase purchase of Harrington Mansion and Events Center

Saint Mary’s has finalized its purchase of the Harrington Mansion and Events Center, located adjacent to the university’s Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs (SGPP) in Minneapolis. Saint Mary’s plans to use the property, formerly owned by the Zuhrah Shriners, for expansion of its graduate programs, community outreach, and alumni event venues.

“This is an investment both in our campus and in the Twin Cities community,” said Brother William. “Saint Mary’s is expanding to meet our growth in educational offerings. We see this as an investment to not only provide educational access to those who increasingly are excluded from it, but also a commitment to help revitalize the Phillips West neighborhood.”

The Harrington Mansion and Events Center purchase, which includes the historic mansion, carriage house, modern events center, and 100 parking spaces, encompassing 1.66 acres at 2540 Park Avenue. The mansion and carriage house consist of 30,000 square feet, and the event center has 54,000 square feet. The purchase significantly increases the size of Saint Mary’s campus footprint on Park Avenue.

The purchase price of the properties is $2.75 million. A $2 million gift from an anonymous donor made the purchase possible for Saint Mary’s. Saint Mary’s will begin a campaign to raise funds for renovations of the buildings.

“We are grateful to the donor for enabling us to make this purchase,” said Brother William. “We are proud to become a part of the rich history of the Harrington Mansion. Saint Mary’s University intends to preserve that history while making the property highly functional for today’s learners and guests.”

The mansion and carriage house will be used for online learning opportunities, office space, gatherings of alumni and friends, and performing and visual arts space. The center will be used for university events and will continue to be available for public rental. The space is ideal for meetings, corporate functions, and receptions.

Harrington Mansion history

The Harrington Mansion was designated historic by the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission in 1988. This designation protects the external integrity of the historic property while allowing Saint Mary’s to make modern internal renovations.

To view photos, go to

To view a fact sheet about the buildings, go to