Lorin P. Cray Mansion

    Judge Lorin P. Cray's house was built adjacent to Renesselaer D. Hubbard's in 1897, and the two engaged in a contest spanning multiple years to create the most lavish house.  When Cray added a ballroom on the top level of his mansion the contest was effectively over.  The house is built in the Queen Anne Style with a wide variety of different bricks, towers, and stained glass.
    Cray became involved with the organization that would become the Mankato YWCA, donating a great deal of money during his life and eventually willing his house to the organization.  When he died in 1927 the home and furnishings were transferred to the YWCA, along with an endowment for the upkeep of the building.  From 1927 to 1952 the building was used as communal housing, from 1952 to 2008 it housed a preschool and the YWCA offices.
    In 2006 the building was put up for sale, as the YWCA could no longer afford the upkeep.  After an offer from the Mankato Area Foundation fell through, the building was sold to a private developer in 2008.  In response, the City of Mankato founded the Heritage Preservation Commission, modeled after similar ones in Red Wing, Fairbault and New Ulm.  The Commission's job is to designate properties as historic in order to control what can be done to the exteriors.
    The building was originally planned as communal housing, however, city ordinances do not allow more than five unrelated people to live in the same unit.  The building was then made into a multi-family residence.

603 S. Second St., Mankato, MN 56001

Note: This property is privately owned and not open to the public.

Image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2009-0805-MN-Mankato-CrayHouse.jpg