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Reed and Stem papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: N16

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of two watercolor renderings, measuring 25" x 30", of Mrs. Keeley's residence (location and date unknown) plans of the Armstrong store and music theatre building (ca. 1895); and the Mannheimer Department Store (1914), both of the latter in St. Paul, along with plans for the St. Paul Municipal Auditorium (1906, 1921, 1931).


  • 1895, 1914


Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

Available for use in the Manuscripts Division reading room. Advance notice is requested.

Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on the use of materials in this collection. Copies can be requested if the condition of the originals warrants it.

Biographical Note

Charles Reed was born near Scarsdale, New York in 1858 and graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in architecture. He subsequently worked as a railroad architect for a number of lines, including the Chicago Great Western, Northern Pacific, Norfolk & Western, New Haven, New York Central and Michigan Central. He joined Allen Stem in practice in 1891 to form one of the most successful architectural firms in St. Paul. In 1901, Reed went to New York City to supervise design work on Grand Central Station after his firm won the commission for this project and became an executive architect with their associates, Warren & Wetmore. He died of a heart attack in New York on November 11, 1911.

Allen Stem was born in Van Wert, Ohio on January 28, 1856. He was educated at the Indianapolis Art School and practiced from 1876 to 1884 with his father, J.H. Stem, in the same city. He then joined Edgar J. Hodgson in partnership in St. Paul in 1884, a practice which lasted until Stem formed his partnership with Reed in 1891. After Reed's death, Stem continued his practice with Roy H. Haslund until his retirement in 1920. Stem died in St. Paul on May 19, 1931.

The firm of Reed & Stem prospered because of its ability to capture large commissions and because of Reed's relationship by marriage with a vice-president of the New York Central Railroad. Through this connection, they received the commission for Grand Central Station in New York City and numerous other stations and structures for that railroad company, including the NYCRR Power Station, Port Morris, New York, and the Union Station at Troy, New York (1892). They were also responsible for the designs of the Detroit (Michigan) Union Station and depots for the Great Northern and Northern Pacific Railroads at Devils Lake and Bismarck, North Dakota, respectively.

Non-railroad related buildings constructed by Reed & Stem include the Lewis & Clark County Court House, Helena, Montana; the West Publishing Company building, Eagan, Minnesota; Civic Auditorium, Hotel St. Paul, St. Paul Athletic Club, and the Reed and Stem double residence, all located in St. Paul; the Denver (Colorado) Auditorium; Wulling Hall, University of Minnesota (Minneapolis); and the White Bear Lake Yacht Club (1913), White Bear Lake, Minnesota.


0.5 Cubic Feet


Collection contains renderings of residences and buildings designed by architects Charles Reed and Allen Stem.


The collection is arranged alphabetically by commission name.

Physical Location

Mezzanine; High Bay

Additional Finding Aid

An unpublished finding aid with detailed contents is available in the Manuscripts Division.

Reed and Stem papers
Archives Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Northwest Architectural Archives Collecting Area