Prior to PVN’s involvement with the building, the Minnesota Mutual Insurance Company Building in Saint Paul was determined to be eligible for the NRHP as part of a potential historic district of buildings in downtown Saint Paul. The consultant that made that recommendation claimed that building was not considered individually eligible because of integrity concerns—the lobby had been altered from its original appearance and an art piece had been removed.
PVN’s research team argued that the Ellerbee-designed building was individually eligible for the NRHP and significant for its association with the Minnesota Mutual Insurance Company and for its representation of midcentury office building design. Midcentury office buildings express corporate identity through their exterior design rather than through their interior configuration.
The MN State Review Board recommended the building for listing in the NRHP in March of 2017. The Minnesota Mutual Building and is currently being rehabilitated as housing. The $32 million project has access to nearly $10m in historic tax credits as a result of PVN’s understanding of midcentury corporate architecture and our ability to achieve individual designation for a building that had been dismissed by others.