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Tilsner Artists' Cooperative

A Victorian Survivor in Lowertown

300 Broadway Avenue, St. Paul, MN, 55101

Interior live/work space

Tilsner Studio

Studio Interior

Studio Interior

Art Crawl Hub

Exposed beams in hallway


Resident Artist

DeJunius Hughes, activist and artist



When Artspace first saw the Tilsner Warehouse, it had neither windows nor a roof, and parts of its upper two floors were too decayed to bear human weight. Although it was a prime candidate for the wrecking ball, it was also a beautiful building in a National Register Historic District, so the City of Saint Paul asked Artspace to save it. In a $7.1 million overhaul, Artspace transformed this 1895 relic, a striking example of Victorian Romanesque architecture, into a thriving community of 66 artists and their families.

Each live/work unit at the Tilsner offers high ceilings, pine floors, exposed brick walls, wood beams, large windows and modern kitchens and baths. Some units on the sixth floor have 20-foot ceilings. Building amenities include two seven-story atriums that flood the interior with light.

The Tilsner proved that Artspace can rescue a historic building even in an advanced state of decay and turn it into a functioning, productive part of the community. The artists and families who reside at the Tilsner are part of a Lowertown neighborhood that didn’t exist three decades ago but now ranks as one of Saint Paul’s liveliest and most desirable places to live. The Tilsner and the adjacent Northern Warehouse proudly anchor the Saint Paul Art Crawl, which brings thousands of visitors to Lowertown twice each year.

Development Cost

$7.1 million


Miller Dunwiddie Architecture

Development Partner

Twin Cities Housing Development Corporation

Learn More
Tilsner Overview (pdf, 94 KB)
Our Thanks to...

City of Saint Paul
Family Housing Fund of Minneapolis & Saint Paul
Lowertown Redevelopment Corporation
Minnesota Housing Finance Agency
Minnesota State Housing Preservation Office
National Equity Fund
Saint Paul Historic Preservation Commission
Saint Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority
Saint Paul Department of Planning and Economic Development
U.S. Bancorp


Bush Foundation
City of Saint Paul Cultural STAR Program
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
The McKnight Foundation
Northwest Area Foundation
Saint Paul Companies
The Saint Paul Foundation