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Photo of the Turnblad Mansion in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Weekly Gem #134 Overlook for an introvert?

Published 9/16/2017

Location:   This 'hidden gem' is an interesting, dare I say inexplicable, architectural feature of the Turnblad Mansion, located at Park Ave. and E 26th St. in Minneapolis, MN (see the  Clue Me! Map ). See the turret on the right?  That's where we're going.

To provide context, let's start at the front door and work our way up.  Everything about the mansion is large and built for many. A big, open, two-story room dominates as you walk in, large enough for dozens of guests.  When the dinner bell rings, the 'standard' dining room table holds 30 or more without a problem. Afterwards, retire to the piano room for a nice concert.

The trend continues on the second floor and third floors.  Big stairs, big rooms, big space.

In this collection of big, there's one place a person can be guaranteed of solitude. See the small arch that is half a story above the third floor? That's a balcony, accessed by a narrow staircase, which is just large enough for one person to stand.

Which leads to an obvious question. Why? Was it truly a place for Turnblad to watch the winter solstice sunrise without any interruption? Was it just a quirky design feature? (There are several 'hidden' within the mansion's decor). Or perhaps the gargoyles placed a request for some human company.  Whatever the reason, this is one mansion where introverts were definitely not overlooked!

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Here's the hidden gem entry from our Clue Me! map.

Clue

Watching sunrise with the gargoyles

Description

The one-person balcony set out of the east turret

Why It's Interesting

On the turret's third floor is a somewhat strange balcony. Inside, there's a hallway ending at the turret windows, where you have a nice view. So far, so good. But they built a balcony large enough for only one person, and half a floor higher than any other place in the mansion. What could be the reason behind this architectural detail? Maybe a coincidence, the balcony view is directly toward where the sun rises on the Winter Solstice.

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