When Artspace first saw the Tilsner Warehouse, it had neither windows nor a roof, and parts of its upper two floors were too decayed to bear human weight. Although it was a prime candidate for the wrecking ball, it was also a beautiful building in a National Register Historic District, so the City of Saint Paul asked Artspace to save it. In a $7.1 million overhaul, Artspace transformed this 1895 relic, a striking example of Victorian Romanesque architecture, into a thriving community of 66 artists and their families.
Each live/work unit at the Tilsner offers high ceilings, pine floors, exposed brick walls, wood beams, large windows and modern kitchens and baths. Some units on the sixth floor have 20-foot ceilings. Building amenities include two seven-story atriums that flood the interior with light.
The Tilsner proved that Artspace can rescue a historic building even in an advanced state of decay and turn it into a functioning, productive part of the community. The artists and families who reside at the Tilsner are part of a Lowertown neighborhood that didn’t exist three decades ago but now ranks as one of Saint Paul’s liveliest and most desirable places to live. The Tilsner and the adjacent Northern Warehouse proudly anchor the Saint Paul Art Crawl, which brings thousands of visitors to Lowertown twice each year.
Miller Dunwiddie Architecture
Twin Cities Housing Development Corporation
City of Saint PaulFamily Housing Fund of Minneapolis & Saint PaulLowertown Redevelopment Corporation Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Minnesota State Housing Preservation OfﬁceNational Equity FundSaint Paul Historic Preservation CommissionSaint Paul Housing and Redevelopment AuthoritySaint Paul Department of Planning and Economic DevelopmentU.S. Bancorp
Bush FoundationCity of Saint Paul Cultural STAR ProgramLocal Initiatives Support CorporationThe McKnight Foundation Northwest Area Foundation Saint Paul CompaniesThe Saint Paul Foundation
“Being at the Tilsner lends credibility that I’m serious. If you want to get up, roll out of bed and start throwing on your wheel, this is the place to do it.” — Lisa Mathieson, Artist
This former warehouse now features 66 affordable live/work units for artists and their families.
Exposed brick and wood beamsHardwood floorsHigh ceilings
Artspace | 250 Third Avenue North, Suite 400 | Minneapolis, MN 55401 | 612.333.9012 ©2014 Artspace Projects, Inc.