Stillwater, MN Real Estate
Stillwater is the Queen City of the St. Croix Valley, a highly popular day-trip destination that is celebrated throughout the Twin Cities area for its historic buildings, antique shops, restaurants, and of course, for its picturesque setting on a hill overlooking the river. In addition to its character and scenery, the Stillwater real estate market is also a very desirable place to live. Stillwater is known for having a strong school system, a variety of housing options, and is home to several exciting new condominium developments.
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Stillwater Homes & Condos
As a collection of distinct residential districts, Stillwater offers more variety in housing than one would expect for a compact town of 15,000 residents. Stillwater homes range from century-old properties to brand-new houses. Buyers can find Stillwater homes set on narrow town lots or on wide-open acreage. Especially in its historic neighborhoods, homes in Stillwater offer a change of pace, that mythic Main Street lifestyle, yet is only miles from metropolitan employment centers and cultural attractions.
As the condo craze swept the nation, real estate developers flocked to Stillwater. Over 400 new Stillwater condos were built in a little over 3 years. Developers came to Stillwater to capture a lifestyle that one might call an escape from the hustle and bustle of most urban developments. Stillwater Condominiums take in the beauty of historic Stillwater and the serene views of the St. Croix River. Stillwater waterfront condos are located just steps from the St. Croix River. Waterfront condominiums include the Lofts of Stillwater, the Stillwater Mills, and the Terra Springs development, featuring the Riverview at Terra Springs, and Terra Springs III. Downtown Stillwater condos have provided an opportunity for many people to call Downtown Stillwater home.
Commercial & Residential Development in Stillwater, MN
Stillwater's topography has been ideal for its authentically small-town character. Industry is located on the river flats, with commerce and early housing built on a steep hill just above. At the hillcrest, a spacious plateau provided buildable lots for Stillwater homes that were separated by elevation from non-residential activity, while still being within convenient walking distance of downtown. Later postwar development, including the inevitable commercial strip, was accommodated to the west, along and north of Highway 36. Thus the Stillwater real estate market encompasses very distinct districts —residential and commercial— which flow from one to the next without losing their own identity or compromising their visual character.
The most recent development in Stillwater is uphill to the west, and is both contemporary and conventional. By contrast, the plateau area is an archetype of late-nineteenth/early twentieth century residential neighborhoods, now highly valued for their pedestrian scale and walkablity.
Among the dozens of landmark homes in Stillwater, standouts include a late-1860s Italianate house at 106 Chestnut Street; the 1868 French Second Empire McKusic Cottage at 504 N. 2nd Street; and the 1889 Lammers House, a handsome Queen Anne at 1306 S. 3rd Street. Perhaps the best-known Stillwater monument is the 1936 Lowell Inn at 102 N. 2nd Street. This play on Mount Vernon features marvelously overdone dining rooms, and is a favorite overnight stays
History of Stillwater, Minnesota
First settled in 1837, Stillwater styles itself as the "Birthplace of Minnesota." It was among the first European settlements in what is now Minnesota. Many of the early pioneers arrived in the future state by way of Stillwater until St. Paul became the practical port of entry. Throughout much of the 1800s, Stillwater was a major logging and lumber milling center. That that role was eventually usurped by Minneapolis, with its St. Anthony Falls waterpower and the much larger timber shed reached by the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
Like many New England towns (from which founders of both eastern Minnesota in general and Stillwater in particular came), Stillwater ultimately benefited from the vicissitudes of commerce. With a strong local economy in the nineteenth century, the town gained dozens of handsome, substantial buildings in the early decades of its existence. Stillwater then experienced relative economic decline, as compared to St. Paul and Minneapolis, but it largely escaped the erratic razing and rebuilding common to growing local economies. Thus Stillwater's historic townscape remained mostly intact. By the postwar years, Stillwater was unique in the metropolitan area for the size and character of its townscape —now considered a precious resource.
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