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First U.S. Home to Have Air Conditioning Was in Minneapolis

Charles Gates White Mansion on Lake of the Isles

Air Conditioning Turns 110 in 2012! Who would've guessed that Minneapolis had anything to do with it?

Big white 2 storey houseAn article in the StarTribune states, “folks in Arizona would never guess that a Minneapolis mansion on Lake of the Isles was the first residence in the world to install air conditioning.” 

Turn-of-the-century millionaire, Charles Gates, was the son of barbed-wire mogul and gambler John “Bet-a-Million” Gates. At 38,000 square feet, his home was as big as the James J. Hill mansion in St. Paul, and the costliest ever built in Minneapolis at the time. The estate, located at 25th Street and East Lake of the Isles Boulevard, didn’t last long. It later came down in 1933 during the Great Depression.

“It was a white elephant,” said Minneapolis historian Bob Glancy. “No one wanted to pay to heat something that big, let alone air condition it.”

To cool a space that large today would cost at least $1,500 a month and that’s using equipment at least 60 percent more efficient than it was in Gates’ day.

For the complete article visit StarTribune or CBS

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