Building History

A primer of the local sites on the National Register of Historic Places.

The White Bear Lake area is rich with history and numerous historic places that connect us to the past. Here are four true treasures on the NRHP list.

Cyrus B. Cobb House
2199 First St., White Bear Lake
Built: 1885

Architectural and Historical Significance: This two-story, Queen Anne-style, all-brick home, built for the prominent businessman/lumber dealer, Cyrus B. Cobb, is, according to the National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, “one of the few substantial brick, year-round dwellings constructed in White Bear Lake before 1890.”

Current owner(s): Deborah and Mark Nelson

“We saw and fell in love with the house 12 years ago,” says Deborah, “but it was just too big of an undertaking then.” But last spring, Deborah and Mark saw an article stating the house was going on the market. They phoned their agent, had a showing at 3 p.m., and were writing the offer at 4:15 p.m. “It was just meant to be,” says Deborah.

E. H. Hobe Mansion
5590 West Bald Eagle Blvd., White Bear Lake
Built: 1897

Architectural and Historical Significance: Built for Engelbrecht H. Hobe, a lumber dealer and vice-counsel on the Norwegian Consulate, this wood-frame and limestone foundation home was host to “many Norwegian and Swedish dignitaries, including the King of Norway,” according to the NHRP nomination form.

Current owner(s): Dr. John Cretzmeyer Jr. and Barbara Jacobson

When purchased: 1981

“[A person] could not duplicate the craftsmanship of the time, combined with modern amenities…a fine blend," says Cretzmeyer.

Fillebrown House
4735 Lake Ave., White Bear Lake
Built: 1879

Architectural and Historical Significance: This stick-style home was originally built as a summer cottage for the prominent St. Paul pharmacist, Charles P. Noyes, but was purchased by the Fillebrown family in 1906. The home, according to the NRHP nomination form, is “a rare example of the late-nineteenth century ‘close to nature’ movement.”

Current owner: White Bear Lake Area Historical Society

When purchased: The Fillebrown family deeded the home to the WBLAHS in 1978.

"Without preserving places like the Fillebrown House, and using it to share our stories, we would lose our sense of place and what makes this area special," says Sara Markoe Hanson, executive director of the WBLAHS.

First National Bank of White Bear
4744 Washington Square, White Bear Lake
Built: 1921, architect Clark E. Van Kirk

Architectural and Historical Significance: The building, with its elaborately carved cornucopia pediment and its stunning classical lines, was, according to the NHRP nomination form, created to “rival any bank building in the country.”

Current owner: William C. Rust, Rust Architects

When purchased: 2007

“Architecture is important to society because it provides the physical environment in which we live and work, providing an expression of and contribution to civilization at a fixed point in time, which endures as a monument for future generations,” says Bill Rust. “Of all the arts, architecture is one which acts the most slowly, but surely, on the soul.”

Look for larger features on one or more of these historic places in upcoming issues of White Bear Lake Magazine.