Mediterranean Revival Landmark House in Unique Tranquil Setting

  • $995,000
Thorstrand Road
For Sale National Register of Historic Places

Mediterranean Revival Landmark House in Unique Tranquil Setting

Thorstrand Road
  • $995,000


Rare architectural jewel for sale: Historic Landmark Mediterranean Revival style home , overlooking Lake Mendota, surrounded by beautiful woodland parkland, only 15 minutes from downtown, 6 bedroom, 3 full bath, 2 half-bath, Finished space 5,461 sq. ft., 2 car detached garage with one bedroom apartment.

The North House is an Historic Landmark home that was part of the expansive Thorstrand estate owned by Magnus Swenson (1854-1936), a Norwegian who immigrated to America at age 14, and made his way from working as a blacksmith’s helper to a career as a chemical engineer, an internationally known inventor, businessman and humanitarian.

Originally 50 acres of cornfield, the land was purchased in the 1890’s by Magnus.  He named the property “Thorstrand” (which means “Thor’s Beach” in Norwegian) after the place where he was born in Norway.  The road from University Avenue through this land still bears the name Thorstrand Rd.

Magnus, his wife Annie and their four daughters, lived in downtown Madison and would make regular trips to the property to picnic and plant a variety of trees, many of which still stand today.  In 1922, Magnus had two Mediterranean Revival style homes built there, designed by Madison Architects Law and Law.  One house was for Magnus and his wife Annie, the other, this home, for his married daughter, Mary North.

In its heyday, the estate was quite a sight to see:  two beautiful homes overlooking the lake surrounded by a wide variety of trees and shrubs, multiple ornamental fish ponds, and colorful flower gardens everywhere that Mary lovingly tended.  Magnus, Annie and their daughter Mary had a deep love for the land and the lake which was passed on to Mary’s 3 daughters.   After Mary passed away, her daughters agreed that their goal would be to preserve the land in its natural state.  The remaining estate was sold to the City of Madison to be preserved as an addition to “Marshall Park”, for use as a passive recreation area in 1978.  Shortly thereafter, both homes were declared Madison Historic Landmarks.

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Property ID
Square Footage
5461 sqft
Lot Size
0.75 acres
Year Built
Updated on September 21, 2021 at 2:30 pm


  • Address Thorstrand Road
  • City Madison
  • State Wisconsin
  • Zip/Postal Code 53705

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Louisa Enz
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Louisa Enz
  • Louisa Enz