81 On Seventh was constructed in 1907 by E.J. Phelps, a local entrepreneur and public art advocate. Soon after the last brick was laid, Phelps sold the building to the Golden Rule Department Store across the street. The Golden Rule Department Store used 81 On Seventh as a showroom and storage facility until the 1930s.
When the Borg and Powers Furniture Company moved into 81 On Seventh, they added second floor showroom windows and a fourth floor. In the 1970s, the Northern Furniture Company acquired the building. They remained a downtown fixture until 2002, when ownership changed hands again, to HFS Properties.
As the building approached its one-hundredth birthday, renovation began on 81 On Seventh. The new ownership began restoration for the building’s new tenants with refinishing floors, beams and brickwork; adding energy efficient windows with historic style; building all new electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems, new elevators, stairwells and restrooms; and filtered water stations.
From the moment you walk through the copper front doors, you know you’re somewhere special. A balance of old and new, 81 On Seventh is rich with history and creative energy. The building is located in the heart of downtown St. Paul, on the northeast corner of Seventh Street and Minnesota Street.
All the personality of this 1907 building has been preserved. It is constructed on a limestone foundation with heavy timber Douglas-fir columns, beams and joists; high ceilings; exposed brickwork; tin stamped ceilings; wood floors; wide showroom windows; exterior brick and balconies on third and fourth floors.
From new energy-efficient windows to salvaged construction materials, 81 On Seventh is environmentally conscious and committed to health, wellness and sustainability.