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East Isles Neighborhood

East Isles Neighborhood

East Isles is a neighborhood within the larger Calhoun-Isles community in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. The neighborhood was originally a part of the more historically affluent neighborhoods around Lake of the Isles: Kenwood and Lowry Hill. However, since the 1940s, it has become more urbanized than the rest of the community, since numerous apartment buildings have been built in the area. But, old mansions still can be found hidden in the neighborhood.

It lies between Hennepin Avenue to the east, Lake of the Isles to the west, West Lake Street to the south, and West 22nd Street to the north. Together with parts of Lowry Hill East and other nearby neighborhoods, East Isles is part of the larger, but unofficial, Uptown neighborhood.

Architects William Gray Purcell and George Grant Elmslie designed the Catherine Gray House in this neighborhood, at 2409 Lake of the Isles Boulevard; it is currently owned by Brian and Mary Longe. Purcell built the Catherine Gray House (his first project) for his grandmother, who funded the project to help Purcell and Elmslie launch their new firm. Purcell lived in the house with his grandmother until he married his wife Edna. After many years of alterations and much white paint, the house had lost most of its Prairie School characteristics. The Longes completed an extensive historical restoration to the exterior in 2005-2006, returning it to its original appearance. It is a fine example of early Prairie School in Minneapolis.

Behind the Catherine Gray House, on Lake Place, is another significant project by Purcell & Elmslie – the Purcell-Cutts House. The Purcell-Cutts House was originally called the Edna Purcell House, named for his wife. Purcell and his wife lived in this home and raised their two sons there. The Cutts family bought the house years later and lived there for many years. They donated the home to the Minneapolis Institute of Art. The home is now operated as a museum and is open to the public for tours. Signs denoting the neighborhood incorporate the window designs of this house.

East Isles is a beautiful built and natural environment where engaged, diverse and dependable neighbors gather.

They are a neighbor-led association fostering connections, working to inform and activate neighbors and improve shared spaces.

References:

“East Isles, Minneapolis” │ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Isles,_Minneapolis

“East Isles Neighborhood Association” │ https://www.eastisles.org/

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