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"In a Room Below the Roof"--A Rare Opportunity to Visit a Historic F. Scott Fitzgerald Site

On September 22, 1919, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote these much quoted lines sharing the news that his first novel, This Side of Paradise, would be published: “In a house below the average …  Of a street above the average …  In a room below the roof…”.   The nonprofit organization, Fitzgerald in Saint Paul, is excited to announce a special opportunity to visit “the room below the roof” in the former home of F. Scott Fitzgerald.  This event is a rare chance to see the private residence where F. Scott Fitzgerald’s career as a published author began, and to show your support for an exciting new publication on Fitzgerald’s Minnesota homes and the other locations he frequented.

This open house event will take place on Sunday, August 7, 2016, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the historic home at 599 Summit Avenue in Saint Paul, Minnesota.  The event requires advanced registration and purchase of a $10 admission ticket.  Light drinks and desserts will be provided at the event. Tickets may be purchased at, or reserved by emailing your name and number of tickets requested to

Please note that this event is being held in a private residence and is open to guests only by advanced registration and purchase of tickets.   The home occupies three levels and visitors with limited mobility should note that there are stairs throughout the house.


The house

After nearly 20 years of living in this extraordinary house on Summit Avenue, owners Mike and Nancy Jones are planning to move.  During this transition, they have graciously offered the use of their home to Fitzgerald in Saint Paul for an open house and fundraising benefit to support our forthcoming book project.  Together, with the team of Brad Palecek and Michael Korby of Edina Realty-Exceptional Properties, we are very pleased to provide Fitzgerald friends and fans with this unique opportunity to see the interior of the house, to climb to the third floor, and to visit “the room below the roof.”


The room

Dr.  James L.W. West, III, in his introduction to the Cambridge Edition of This Side of Paradise, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, explains the significance of “the room below the roof.” After a series of personal setbacks, Fitzgerald returned home to Saint Paul.  His dreams of battlefield glory had evaporated, his job in New York fizzled, his writing career had stalled, and his engagement to Zelda was now permanently “on hold” pending better prospects.  At age 23, Fitzgerald had no choice but to “limp home to his parents in St. Paul.  There he would try to rewrite his book for Scribners.”  As Dr. West relates: “Fitzgerald climbed into the attic of his parents’ house and set up his materials, pinning a chapter outline to the window curtain and laying in a supply of pencils and paper.  Through July and August he labored, usually eating at his work-table and having his parents screen his telephone calls.  By late August he had produced a draft of his novel, over six hundred pages in length.”  


The forthcoming book

This open house event will also afford community members the opportunity to support the publication of our organization's forthcoming book, tentatively titled, Fitzgerald and his Friends at Home and Play, by Dave Page with photographs by Jeff Krueger. Newly unearthed information, as well as historic and modern photographs, will make this the most comprehensive documentation of Minnesota sites associated with F. Scott Fitzgerald and his colleagues available. The book is expected to be published in May, 2017. Pre-orders will be shipped as soon as the books become available.  


The property

For additional information about the property at 599 Summit Ave, please visit: for a virtual tour, including 175 photographs of the house.  For information about the sale of this property, please contact Brad Palecek or Michael Korby by email at


Hosted by Fitzgerald in Saint Paul, this fundraising event is a special edition of the FitzFirst@Four series.  The program series usually takes place the first Sunday of every month at 4 p.m. at Common Good Books, in Saint Paul, and is co-sponsored by The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library.

For more information, contact Fitzgerald in Saint Paul at, or visit  Fitzgerald in Saint Paul is a private, non-profit organization, dedicated to celebrating the life and literature of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the revered American author and cultural icon, in his hometown of Saint Paul.

Event date: 
Sunday, August 7, 2016 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm
Event address: 
599 Summit Ave
St Paul, MN 55102