In 1901, Charles Schuneman, a prominent retail dry goods merchant, engaged well know architect Clarence H. Johnson to build the mansion. Constructed of Mankato stone and cost $18,000 to build it was considered the new style of open concept floor plan. Schuneman’s Department store a St. Paul icon later became Dayton – Schuneman and then Dayton’s
This is one of many Summit Avenue mansions built by renowned architect Clarence Johnston. He and Cass Gilbert were classmates and collaborated on works. Johnston later stayed in St. Paul and designed and built numerous homes and office buildings including Northrop Auditorium, Williams Arena, The Eastcliff Mansion, Saint Paul Academy & the Glensheen Historical Estate in Duluth, MN. After World War two large mansion estates in the city were out of fashion and it was divided up into apartments for those returning from the war.
The mansion was purchased by the McLaughlin family in 1971 opening as Summit Manor Reception House hosting Weddings, Receptions and private parties ever since. In its almost 50 years has hosted over 6,000 weddings and events all personally hosted by the McLaughlin family. Over time different areas were painstakingly renovated with an eye for the past and need for the future. Many famous faces including authors, public figures and politicians have spoken from the grand stairs. It is a perfect backdrop for toasts and remarks.
The grounds, large front porch and open public spaces are now a perfect setting for your guests to relax and enjoy historic Summit Avenue.
Amazing photo opportunities of the large foyer, magnificently carved staircase and the charm of the parlor with the curved arch. Intricate carvings adorn the foyer and solid oak was used throughout the house. The parquet flooring is original, and it all makes for an amazing backdrop for your event.
Summit Manor's history, charm and elegance are complimented with careful renovation & updates including a full commercial kitchen, speak easy bar set up, needed technology, and central air conditioning making this stone mansion a gracious inviting atmosphere for your special event.
Summit Manor is proud of its unique past, but knows that your big day is whats most important. Schedule a tour and you will be hooked!
"We are so happy to have chosen Summit Manor for our outdoor ceremony/indoor reception. This place takes care of everything (including table decorations if you want), which made it the perfect location for our wedding. David and staff were easy to plan with, professional, contributed their years of expertise, and handled all of the details. Food was great. Space is perfect for both dancing and catching up (older relatives have a quiet place to chat while the young'ns rip up the dance floor). The event was stress-free. Great place for a fantastic wedding!"
"We were absolutely delighted with the entire process - site selection, planning, menu choices, ceremony options and execution that David and Amber provided at Summit Manor. The experience and professionalism was apparent from our first meeting with David. He gave us a sense of calm and confidence that took the worry out of our lives. He listened extremely well and gave us options that made our ceremony a very personal experience and it that came off without a hitch - with the exception of us forgetting the rings in the house! The choice of having the ceremony inside or outside was great. The food was outstanding, and again our options were such that we could not go wrong on the choices. Our guests raved about the service and the excellent food. David and Amber are 'real people' that have a sense of dignity and professionalism and always acted in a friendly manner. They ask the right questions and always had our best intentions in mind. We would return to Summit Manor for any type of event and have every confidence that we made the correct choice."
"My husband and I searched for a venue that would feel like we were getting married in our home. Summit Manor fit the bill perfectly with a casual and intimate environment! David and his staff were incredible. Seemingly everywhere and nowhere during the festivities. We couldn't have asked for a better fit than them. David always responded to our phone calls and emails and walked us through what needed to be done the day of the ceremony. The food was fantastic and we didn't have to worry about anything on our special day, everything was taken care of for us. We would highly recommend this venue to anyone looking to host a special event, wedding day or otherwise!"
"It has almost been a full year since our wedding an we are still getting compliments on everything. We had such a great experience from day one of planning and we just couldn't possibly be happier. The venue is just magical with all the charm you could hope for. We loved the low stress environment the staff constantly says it will be. Truly... we were told this no less than 20 times there would be no stress and it absolutely was a no stress all day. They take care of everything, we even found out days later things that other vendors had forgotten or missed and Summit Manor just jumped in and took care of it without even saying anything at all. They just did it.
5+ Star rating for Summit Manor!"
"We had a truly amazing experience working with David McLaughlin and the rest of the staff at Summit Manor, both during the planning process and on our wedding day. David was the most accommodating event planner, answering questions in any format at any time. He was always courteous and respectful when we spoke, and he was always willing to offer suggestions if we didn't know quite what to do or who to talk to. He was always willing to meet with us and did several walk-throughs with us as we were working out decor details and the flow of the day. On our wedding day, David did a great job of keeping everything on track and handling issues as they came up. He made sure to keep us in the loop throughout the day, but for the most part he was rather invisible, which we liked. We knew he was keeping an eye on things without disturbing our guests. His staff shared his courteous, discrete manner. As a venue, Summit Manor was absolutely beautiful! The historic home fit our vintage theme beautifully. It was great that we were able to have our ceremony and reception in the same place. We didn't have to worry about losing someone traveling between the two, since all they had to do was walk inside. The room that was made available to the bride and bridesmaids was absolutely wonderful. There was enough space for everyone to get dressed without feeling like they were on top of each other. There was even a bathroom attached! The guys had to come dressed, but they were able to leave their jackets and other items in the room as well. We were able to close the doors to the room to keep guests out. For guest accommodations, we loved how the guests were able to roam around the house - this allowed them to choose a place that was right for them to relax and enjoy the evening. From the speakeasy, to the main floor, to the upper floor, to the front porch, there was a place for everyone. There were several quiet spaces away from the party where people could actually carry on conversations, and there was also plenty of space for those who did want to party. We can't wait to see the photos! Not only was Summit beautiful, it was affordable too! All of the basic things we needed (tables, chairs, linens, dinnerware, flatware, glassware, etc) were included in the rental fee, so we didn't have to bring anything in from outside. We could have even used their centerpieces for that price as well, but we opted to bring in our own. The food was reasonably priced, and tasted like it was twice as much per plate as it actually was! Overall, I would say that if you are looking for an elegant yet laid back feel, are shooting for a vintage theme, and are looking to create great memories for you and your guests, Summit Manor is the perfect venue for you!"
"We started our search for a wedding location by putting together a wish list with our top three priorities in a venue: 1. A location that could host both the ceremony and the reception. 2. A location that had an outdoor option for the ceremony (with an easily accessible indoor backup option). 3. A location that wouldn’t require much (in any) decoration in order to make it “wedding ready.” We set up tours within our search area and while we found a couple locations we thought we could make work we weren’t really sold on any of them. That is until we visited The Summit Manor. After our tour and meeting with David we walked away agreeing that we had found our perfect location. Not only did The Summit Manor give us all three of our priorities, it also came with the ease of what I’ll call “all-inclusive” pricing. Other venues seemed to have basic packages where you’d obviously want to upgrade some things (chair covers, chandeliers, cake cutting services, etc) and then they would show you what it would cost on top of their standard fee in order to make this happen. The Summit Manor went out of their way to prove to us that they weren’t there to add on fees and that the price we were shown was the price we would pay, and in the end they were true to their word. The on-site coordinator / planner (David) was great (and of course at no extra charge!). He made himself completely accessible for any questions and concerns that we had even before we had officially signed our contract. His knowledge and experience of the wedding process constantly reassured us that we had made the right choice. Then came the day of the wedding… From the moment we arrived, to the end the night, the staff worked wonders behind the scenes making sure everything went smoothly and according to plan. Everyone in attendance had a wonderful time and we still are getting rave reviews on the wedding and venue a month later. I can’t recommend The Summit Manor enough. It truly was our prefect venue."
"This wedding is the most important wedding we have ever done, We are going to get a five star review today. We have to. It's the biggest day of their lives. It's the only acceptable outcome"
- David McLaughlin