Historic Gethsemane

Biographical Sketch for Edward Somerby Stebbins (1854-1934)

Edward Stebbins was born in Boston on February 9, 1854. He moved to Troy, New York, in 1868 and to Saratoga, New York, in 1870, where he worked with architect E.D. Harris and helped to supervise the construction of the Grand Union Hotel. He attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology until about 1876, worked briefly with McKim, Mead & White, then came to Minneapolis in 1877. He was a partner of George R. Mann, a former classmate at MIT, in 1878-1979, then established a private practice which lasted until 1913 when Robert Haxby entered the firm. In 1920 they were joined by Cyrus Bissell. This partnership remained intact until Stebbins' death in Minneapolis on March 3, 1934. The firm continued under the name Haxby, Bissell, Belair & and Green after Stebbins' death.

Stebbins was the official architect of the Minneapolis Board of Education for more than 10 years, designing many of the city's educational facilities. Some of the schools he designed were: North High School; West High School (1906-1907); Clara Barton, Robert Fulton, Thomas Lowry, and Bryant Elementary Schools. Most of these have been demolished. Stebbins also created the plans for the Nicollet County Court House, St. Peter, Minnesota (1880-1881) with Edward Bassford of St. Paul; the Hutchinson, Minnesota, Public Library (1904); Gethsemane Episcopal Church, Minneapolis (1883); and the S.E. Davis residence, 2104 Kenwood Parkway, Minneapolis (1892), known to millions as the "Mary Tyler Moore house", after the popular television show of the early 1970s.

NAA Stebbins Collection link (list of collection contents): See Gethsemane information under "Specification" after "Working Drawings" section) at http://special.lib.umn.edu/findaid/xml/naa074.xml.