Peer House, 50 North 2nd Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Peer House

Peer House
Address: 50 2nd Avenue N
Neighborhood/s: Warehouse District, Minneapolis, Minnesota, North Loop, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1881
Primary Style: Vernacular
Additions: Addition to the back of the building in 1902.
Major Alterations: Some/mostly intact
Historic Function: Warehouse/storage
Current Function: Restaurant
Current Function: Retail
Other Current Function: Retail
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
Material of Foundation: Brick
Part of the Site: {{{site_name}}}

Warehouse District, North Loop Minneapolis Hennepin County

Peer House, 50 North 2nd Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota
(44.9856603° N, 93.2688492° WLatitude: 44°59′8.377″N
Longitude: 93°16′7.857″W
National Register of Historic Places Information
Reference Number: 89001937
Reference URL: [Reference]
Certification date: November 3, 1989
Level of significance: National
Primary Style: Classical Revival
Secondary Style: Romanesque
Year/s of Major Alterations: 1902

The Peer House was originally built in 1881. The proximity to the river and the railroad made this location perfect for small warehouse buildings with storefronts. The Peer House is a prime example of the early warehouse structures as it is a two-story building that originally operated a storefront at the street level. The warehouse district includes a 30 block area with over 150 buildings included. Most were originally built to be used for storage, manufacturing, wholesale goods, and milling which made their proximity to the river and transportation extremely important for the neighborhood's prosperity. This area operated as a busy commercial center until the 1930s when the decline of the railroad combined with the Great Depression left many of the building quickly abandoned.



Historic Uses:

Although the owners of this building have changed over time, the basic use has remained the same. The original functions of a commercial structure with warehouse space supported the Northwestern Grease Wool Company, and Marvel Rack, and most recently the use changed drastically into a retail and restaurant combination.


In 2008 the building was purchased by two brothers (from the Dayton family) who wanted to create a place where people could come together and feel at home, thus they gave it the name Peer House. This goal was achieved by the architects, James Dayton Design, retaining as many of the original features as possible to create an authentic feeling. This meant that throughout the rehabilitation process they consciously were making decisions to restore the historic characteristics of the building while remaining honest about the changes they had to make. The sections of the interior wood floors that needed replacement were patched in a way that would be obvious as to what was original and what a replacement was. While planning the placement of the restrooms it was acknowledged that this would make a large impact on the interior since plumbing and fixtures would need to be added. Keeping in mind that the goal was to retain as much historic character as possible, the restrooms were placed carefully in the areas that would need the largest amount of rehabilitation, which would have meant lost characteristics either way. There were multiple examples of these creative, considerate design solutions implemented in this project.

Current Use:

Each level of the building now serves a unique use, while remaining a cohesively linked building. The basement floor is home to Marvel Bar, reminiscent of a speakeasy. The main street level opens up to a men’s clothing store, Askov Finlayson, as well as a Nordic restaurant, The Bachelor Farmer. The original loading dock was also restored and used as the main entrance to the restaurant. The second level holds a variety of private event spaces that range from being ornately decorated with walls covered by crocheted blankets, to virtually untouched. Although each space throughout the building has evoked a different feeling, there is a cohesiveness to the building as a whole. One thing that remains constant is the care that was paid to remaining honest about the historic attributes of the building contrasted with the new elements.

Memories and stories

Photo Gallery

Related Links/Sources

James Dayton Design,

Minnesota Historical Society,

The Bachelor Farmer,

National Register of Historic Places,

North Loop,


64px}px This place is part of
the ARCH5670 Class Project


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