Placeography:Featured Places

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This page is a complete listing of all featured article front-page entries at Placeography, in reverse chronological order. Note that these are not the complete articles, and are not updated over time.

'April 2017'

Victory Memorial Parkway, Minneapolis,Minnesota

Originally called Glenwood-Camden Parkway, the acquisition of the land for Victory Memorial Parkway began in 1910. Construction was stopped in the spring of 1917 as World War I reduced resources and money. During this delay in the construction, Theodore Wirth and Charles Loring decided to create a Victory Memorial Drive and Park. In the 1918 annual Minneapolis Parks Department report, Wirth discussed the use of “long parallel rows of stately trees” as a commemoration of the fallen Minnesota soldiers of World War I. Before each tree would be a monument to the soldier it represented. Minneapolis Parks Department's landscape architect Phelps Wyman created the design. The Parkway was dedicated on June 11, 1921. When completed, it was just over four miles long. In subsequent years, flags and wreaths were placed at the trees by the American Legion on Memorial Day. In 1996, in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of Victory Memorial Parkway, it was rededicated to all Hennepin County soldiers lost their lives while serving their country. In 2004, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board developed a Master Plan for the restoration and preservation of the Parkway. In 2003 Victory Memorial Parkway became a state historic district. In 2006 a Task Force was formed to write a master restoration plan. New trees were planted, granite stonework replaced and plaques refurbished. When the work was completed, the Parkway was re-dedicated on June 11, 2011, 90 years after it originally dedicated.




'March 2017'

Brenda Ueland Home, 2620 44th Street West, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Brenda Ueland moved into the house at 2620 West 44th Street, around 1954 when she was about 63 and lived there until she died at the age of 93 on March 5, 1985.14 Alice Kaplan documents about the writing in her later life “ Ueland continued to write short articles for several more decades—where she championed minor causes and underdogs, reflected on health and exercise, dramatized her habits and her self-discipline. Brenda Ueland also organized her articles and writings in the later years of her life. Brenda wrote: “What I’m trying to do now is put together my collected works and get it decently typed so it won’t be thrown in the posthumous ash can.” . At the age of 87, Brenda set an international swimming record in the 50-yard backstroke and 100-yard freestyle in the 80-and-over age group in a master’s swim meet at the University of Minnesota. In December 2016, developers filed a Demolition of a Historic Resource Application to demolish Brenda's house. Members of the Linden Hills History study group are opposing the demolition. March is National Women's History Month. Add a place related to Women's History to Placeography!




'February 2017'

Saint Anthony Commercial Club, 200 Central Avenue SE, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Saint Anthony Commerical Club consists of two buildings. 200 Central Avenue Southeast and 113 2nd Street Southeast. The Club was originally established in 1905 and the purpose of the club was to promote industrial and commercial growth as well as support civic improvements 200 Central Avenue, was constructed in 1929 for the Saint Anthony Commercial Club. . As the club aged, it put more emphasis on social activities. The building was designed in the English Tudor Revival Style and designed by Long & Thorshov. When completed, the building contained a dining room, lounge and billiards room. A garage addition was added in 1955. The second building, the Athletic Club building, was built as an addition to the Commercial Club in 1966 to house athletic facilities. The Commercial Club occupied the building until 1973. Since then, the 200 Central building has been occupied by the Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapel. In the same year, the Athletic Club split from the Commercial Club. A filling station once occupied what is now the south part of the 200 Central site. It was demolished in 1944. Prior to these uses, wood frame residential uses occupied these properties. Developer Altatus has plans to build a condo tower on this site and demolish this building.




'January 2017'

Saint Anthony Falls Historic District, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The historic designation of the St. Anthony Falls Historic District focuses on the urbanization of the Falls with a period of significance between 1858 and 1941. This time frame celebrates the role of the Falls in the development of Minneapolis, Minnesota’s largest city, in all its stages of growth. The natural beauty of the Falls was a wilderness landmark, attractive to both tourists and settlers. The Falls furnished direct power to the lumber and flour industries which stimulated the development of the new city. Finally, the Falls provided electrical power for industrial and residential use. Other sites, including the Falls itself and many other sites in the area which are associated with other time periods outside of the span from 1858 to 1941, also are culturally significant. Among these are cultural and spiritual sites significant to the Dakota and Ojibwa people, which predate 1858. The use and interaction with the Falls has evolved over the past centuries of human interaction and will continue to evolve over the centuries to come.




'November 2016'

Pillsbury building, 608 2nd Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Ethel Edgerton Hurd was born on August 11, 1845 in Galesburg Illinois. In 1865 she was the first woman to graduate from Knox College. Shortly ater she married Tyrus Hurd, a railroad man. The couple eventually settled in Minnesota. After the death of her husband she enrolled in medical school at the University of Minnesota. Ethel Edgerton Hurd was one of only 68 doctors practicing in the state of Minnesota in 1900. For many years Hurd's office was in the Pillsbury building at 608 2nd Avenue South in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.




'October 2016'

Minnesota Woman Suffrage Memorial, Cedar Avenue at Martin Luther King Boulevard, Saint Paul, Minnesota

On Women’s equality day, August 26, 2000, the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Memorial is dedicated at the state capitol. The memorial is planted with native grasses and flowers and features a 100 foot trellis imprinted with the names of important suffrage leaders in the state’s history. Architects Ralph Nelson, Raveevarn Choksombatchai and Martha McQuade collaborated on the winning design, a combination of gardens of native prairie and woodland plants, separated by a steel trellis displaying names of 25 Minnesota women who led the fight for voting rights.




'September 2016'

930 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Minnesota Woman, Suffrage Association (MWSA) was founded in Hastings, Minnesota, in 1881. The establishment of this group marked the beginning of a united effort to gain equal suffrage for women in Minnesota. Prior to this time, suffrage was an issue that had met with only sporadic success in Minnesota. Several special laws and an amendment to the state constitution had been passed that permitted women to vote for designated local candidates and issues. This early legislation was enacted in spite of the absence of a systematic organizational effort to promote the suffrage movement on both the state and national levels. The Hennepin County headquarters of the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association was 930 Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis. By 1919 they had moved to Meyer's Arcade on 10th and Nicollet where their office was just down the hall from an organization opposed to Women's suffrage. The Anthony Amendment to grant women the right to vote, was passed by Congress in June, 1919. The Minnesota State Legislature ratified it at a special session held on September 8, 1919




'August 2016'

Ripley Memorial Maternity Hospital, 301 Penn Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Ripley Hospital for Women (known until 1955 as Maternity Hospital) was founded by Dr. Martha G. Ripley in November 1866 (incorporated in July 1887) as a facility for unmarried women and needy married women. The institution also helped to place those children given up by their mothers for adoption. Her first maternity hospital was located at 316 15th Street South in Minneapolis. The next location was a house at 2529 4th Avenue South. In 1896, Ripley purchased the house and land of A.T. Ankeny, located on five acres on the corner of Glenwood (Western) and Penn Avenues North. A new building for the Maternity Hospital was constructed shortly after Ripley’s death in 1912. When completed in 1915 the building was named The Martha G. Ripley Memorial Maternity hospital. Ripley's ashes were laid in the cornerstone. Three of the original buildings remain on the site: Ripley Memorial Hospital, Emily Paddock Cottage and the Babies' Bungalow at 2215 Western Avenue (now 301 Penn Avenue North) The hospital closed in 1956. The Queen Care Nursing Home used the buildings until 2000. The buildings remained vacant until 2006 when Aeon, a non-profit developer of affordable housing, purchased and converted the hospital and its cottages to housing.




'July 2016'

3820 West Calhoun Boulevard, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The three-acre Ueland estate was located at the corner of West Calhoun Parkway, west of Richfield Road. The first house on the site, was Elizabeth Hamilton's boarding house, where writer Henry David Thoreau and Horace Mann, Jr. stayed during their 1861 visit to Lake Calhoun. During his stay, Thoreau swam in Lake Calhoun, studied the local flora and fauna, and wrote about the area in his diary. Twenty-three years later, in 1884, Andreas and Clara Ueland bought the house and land. In 1890 they demolished the Hamilton house and built their own house on the site. The house was demolished in 1953. Andreas was a lawyer and a judge. Clara, was a involved in improving the curriculum in the Minneapolis school system. She was also a nationally recognized suffragette. In 1913 Clara Ueland organized the Equal Suffrage Association of Minneapolis to energize and politicize the local movement. In 1914, she organized a parade of nearly 2,000 suffrage supporters in Minneapolis—an event that had a dramatic impact on changing attitudes and perceptions about women who wanted the right to vote. Later that same year, Ueland was elected president of the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association.




'June 2016'

Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, 270 North Kent Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Founded in 1929, Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, Inc. is an African American, nonprofit social service agency. Herbert Howell, a student at Hamline University, won a contest to name the center with his essay about Hallie Q. Brown an African American educator, elocutionist, women’s suffrage leader, and author. Hallie Q. Brown Community Center was originally located in the Masonic Hall at Aurora and Mackubin. In 1972 they moved to the Martin Luther King Center at 270 North Kent Street.




'May 2016'

715 13th Avenue Southeast, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The house at 715 13th Avenue South in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood in Minneapolis was the second home that Joseph Hunt Hiscock and Kate Dagget Hiscock lived in and the first house they had built for themselves and their family, in the 1880s before building permits were required. Joseph was a furniture maker and manufacturer. Kate was a talented musician and had a gift for learning languages. Her daughters Jennie Isabel and Harriette inherited these gifts. In May of 1896 when Jennie was about to graduate from the Marcy Elementary School, she was one of several hundred school children who helped pull the historic Stevens house from Minneapolis to Minnehaha Park. In the fall of 1908 she received an offer to teach French and German at the newly opened Minneapolis West High School. She taught languages there for 41 years until retiring in 1949. May is Historic Preservation Month! Add a historic place to Placeography!




'April 2016'

Julia Bullard Nelson House, 219 5th Street, Red Wing, Minnesota

Julia Bullard Nelson was an early Goodhue County Settler, pioneer educator, and a leader in the woman suffrage and temperance organizations. In 1866 she married Ole Nelson who died only three years into their marriage. Their son Cyrus also died. In 1869 Julia was sent by the American Missionary Association to Texas and was a teacher to "freedmen" for twenty years. She returned to Red Wing in 1889. In 1881 Julia and fourteen other women, including Dr. Martha George Ripley, founded the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association. She wrote editorials for the Red Wing Republican newspaper and was editor of the White Ribbon, a Women's Christian Temperance Union newspaper published in Minneapolis. Her two story wood frame house has a structure that unified two dwellings, each consisting of three bay fronts. The east wing has a full front porch. The portico covering the entry of the west wing replaced an older front porch. Julia lived in the house and offered room and board. The house, located near the commercial district in Red Wing, was a convenient meeting space for local women and guests who traveled to Red Wing by railcar. The house was entered in the National Register of Historic Places in April 1979. It was demolished in 2004.




'March 2016'

Westminster Presbyterian Church, Fourth Street between Hennepin and Nicollet, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Minnesota State Women's Christian Temperance Union was founded in Westminster Presbyterian Church in September 1877, three years after the National Union and two years after the St. Paul Union was formed. The WCTU objective was "to carry forward measures which with the blessing of God will result in promoting the cause of total abstinence, and in outlawing liquor traffic." Saloons and taverns were chosen as targets for WCTU marches because they were seen as disruptive to the institutions of home and church. It was believed that the best way to eliminate human misery would be to eliminate liquor. At the height of the WCTU power, 45 years after the organization's founding and just before the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment, the watch words became "educate, agitate and organize."
March is women's history month. Add a place related to Women's History to Placeography!




'February 2016'

Nellie Stone Johnson School, 807 27th Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Nellie and her six siblings grew up on a dairy farm near Hinckley, Minnesota. Her father was a member of the Non-Partisan League, a radical rural organization. Johnson grew up with a strong tradition of support for education. Her mother and grandmother were teachers with an interest in political philosophy. Her father was a school board member in Dakota County. She graduated from Hinckley High School and left home at 17 to finish high school through the GED program at the University of Minnesota. For over 30 years, she owned and operated Nellie's Alterations in downtown Minneapolis. She had a long and distinguished record of public service in support of the advancement of minority concerns, the rights of workers, and equal opportunities for all people. Johnson was a life member of the NAACP and the National Council of Negro Women; a member of the National Coalition of Labor Women, the National League of Women Voters, the DFL Affirmative Action Commission, and the DFL Feminist Caucus, a former board member of the Minneapolis Urban League, and recipient of the Urban League's Cecil E. Newman Humanitarian Award. She died on April 2, 2002 at 96. In 2001 the Nellie Stone Johnson school was built in the Hawthorne neighborhood of North Minneapolis.
February is Black History Month. Add a place related to Black History to Placeography!




'January 2016'

Church in the Grove, 1025 Highway 29 South East, Benson, Minnesota

The Frank Lake congregation had its origin in 1877 when C.M. Youngquist visited this community. Church services were held in various homes and the school house. On January 12, 1884, a committee met to work out a constitution for the purpose of organizing as a church congregation. The group became the "Swedish Evangelical Mission Church of Frank Lake, Murdock, Minnesota." On September 4, 1887, it was decided to build a church in Kerkhoven Township, Swift County. The Reverend Nils Frykman, who served the church as pastor from 1890 to 1905 wrote in his autobiography, that many of his songs were written as he traveled from parish to parish with his horse and buggy. He purchased the church's first organ. The 100th anniversary of the church was celebrated on August 5, 1984. In 1985 the church was closed. Dennis and Marie Johnson who were members of the Hillcrest Cemetery Association, placed an ad on Craigslist in 2012 listing the church for sale for $1. Kathy Weckwerth purchased and moved the church to the family farm in Benson Minnesota. The church was moved by Thein movers on August 14, 2012. It was renovated and renamed The Church in the Grove and is home to Best Life Ministries.




'December 2015'

701 3rd Street North, Minneapolis, Minnesota

It was in front of this building on Bloody Friday that striker Henry Ness was shot and killed by Minneapolis police. The 1934 strikes really stemmed from the winter of 1933-34 when socialist militants such as the Dunne brothers (V.R. (Ray), Miles and Grant) and Swedish immigrant Carl Skoglund had effectively shut down delivery of coal during the coldest part of the year. This victory lifted their status as organizers among the area’s truck drivers. By the spring of 1934, anger among the drivers over wages and working conditions had reached such a level that a powerful strike was possible. The union, Local 574 (today Teamsters Local 120) was up against the Citizens Alliance. On July 20, what has become known as “Bloody Friday,” unarmed strikers were confronted by police, who opened fire with handguns and shotguns. When the confrontation ended, 67 strikers were shot and two, Henry Ness and John Belor, died of their wounds. In July 2015 the Remember 1934 committee had a commemorative plaque placed on this building.
This Placeography post is in honor of labor historian and professor Hy Berman who died on November 29th 2015.




'November 2015'

Peter Bott House, 326 Maria Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Built in 1879, this two-story Italianate style house was built for the Peter Bott family. This beautiful house was part of the first phase of the East 4th Street Preservation Project, which the City of Saint Paul purchased 8 vacant homes on one block, four of them were rehabbed and sold to new home owners (the other 4 will be restored this year). This home was totally renovated from being a 3-plex back into a single family home. Unique features of the home include the second floor bathroom, the fireplace, and stairway to the second floor. This house was part of the Dayton's Bluff East Fourth Street Preservation Project.




'October 2015'

Sumner Branch Library, 611 Van White Memorial Boulevard, Minneapolis, Minnesota

On April 03, 1912 the City of Minneapolis secured $125,000 from Carnegie to build four branch libraries for the Minneapolis Public Library system. Plans for the Sumer Branch Library were prepared by the Minneapolis architect Cecil Bayless Chapman of the firm Chapman and Magney. Chapman and his business partner Gottlieb R. Magney designed a number of buildings in Minneapolis such as the Calhoun Athletic and Boat Club (1912), the Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church (1915), and the Saxe Movie Theatre (ca. 1914). The Sumner Branch Library opened to the public on December 15, 1915. The Sumner Library neighborhood branch played a crucial role in the accommodation of new immigrant populations in the early part of the twentieth century. Located on Olson Memorial Parkway, the Sumner Branch was especially helpful to the large influx of Jewish immigrants on the near north side of Minneapolis. The city’s entire Yiddish and Hebrew collections were placed at Sumner. The Sumer Branch Library is a one storey Tudor Revival style building with a raised basement. The original building form consisted of two intersecting gables and is faced with reddish-brown brick. The gabled roof is covered with asphalt shingles. Brick is used in many different styles and patterns to create much of the building’s decoration. For example, the windows are rectangular and are framed by brick surrounds and brick string courses extend from the window divisions across the major exterior walls. The gable ends also use brickwork for ornamentation purposes. This main entrance bay also featured a dominant embattled parapet but this has since been removed. A Tudor arched entrance-way is enclosed by the tower, and a panel of red sandstone above the arch has “Public Library” inscribed in Gothic style. The main floor’s original foyer has a vaulted ceiling, Tudor arched walls and doors with Tudor arched leaded glass. Oak shelving, doors, window seats and even a Tudor inspired fireplace still exist in the Sumner Branch library. Sumner Library will Celebrate 100 years of service on Saturday October 10, 2015. Sumner 100




'September 2015'

Driscoll-Weyerhaeuser House, 266 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Originally on the site where this incredible High Victorian castle stands at 266 Summit Avenue, there was a much smaller house built in circa 1857 by Henry F. Masterson. In 1884 Frederick Driscoll bought the property, had the home demolished, and started construction on his new $25,000 mansion. Over the years the house has been remodeled several times, and portions of the interior are very much altered. It has been used in several different ways over the years, housing organizations and public groups, but is now again a single family home. This house is included on the Ramsey Hill House Tour, on Thursday September 17, 2015, 4-9pm. https://ramseyhill.org/HouseTour




'August 2015'

Terrace Theater, 3508 France Avenue N, Robbinsdale, MN

The Terrace Theater located was the premier theater constructed in the International Style in 1949. The owners Sydney and William Volk created a dramatic and elegant theater for the Twin Cities for around $600,000. The Volks Hired the architectural firm Liebenberg and Kaplan to realize their vision. According to architect Robert Roscoe, “(The) Terrace Theater may be Liebenberg and Kaplans’s only early modern theater structure, and it may very well be the only midcentury in the Twin Cities suburban area still standing since the demolition of the Cooper Theater in St. Louis Park and the Southern Theater in Bloomington. The Robbinsdale Historical Society has formed a group to Save the Terrace Theater. http://robbinsdalehistoricalsociety.org/save-the-terrace/




'July 2015'

Alice Shevlin Hall, 164 Pillsbury Drive, SE, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Alice Shevlin Hall was constructed in 1906 on the site of Old Main (which was totally destroyed by fire on 24 September 1904). The construction was made possible by a donation of $60,000 by Thomas Shevlin in honor of his wife. The building was executed in the Renaissance Revival mode according to designs by Minneapolis architect Ernest Kennedy. It is two stories in height with a full basement, and is constructed of red sand-mold brick with terra cotta trim and ornamentation. Shevlin Hall was essentially rectangular in plan and measures fifty-five by 114 feet; a large addition to the rear was constructed at a later date to provide for additional dining facilities.




'June 2015'

Eddy Hall, 192 Pillsbury Drive Southeast, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Eddy Hall was constructed in 1886 as the Mechanic Arts Building for the University of Minnesota. Today, the building is the oldest existing building on the campus. The architect for Eddy Hall was Leroy Buffington who designed the building in a variation of the Queen Anne style. The building name was changed from the Mechanic Arts Building to honor Henry Turner Eddy. He had been a professor of engineering and mathematics and the Dean of the Graduate School for the university. Some of the prominent characteristic features of the building include: a rectangular tower at the northwest corner with iron cresting and weather vane, red brick with red sandstone details, areas of patterned brick, pilasters above the main entrance, a slightly cantilevered gable on the north facade, and a multiple gabled roof.




'May 2015'

Suburban World Theatre, 3022 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota

In 1927, Liebenberg and Kaplan architects designed a neighbourhood theatre and named it as “Grenada Theatre” to evoke a town in medieval Spain. It is one of the only remaining “atmospheric movie theatre” in Minneapolis. The indoor/outdoor courtyard environment was achieved by Mediterranean mock balconies, statues, elaborate balustrades, and artificial evergreens. The atmospheric ceiling was successfully implemented with a projector of twinkling stars and a sun and moon. A cloud machine projected clouds. The theater is currently owned by Yad Elion of Florida. A proposed conversion of the theater to a retail space has not happened. Neighborhood residents would like the theater to be a venue for live music and performance. May is National Historic Preservation Month. Add your favorite historic building to Placeography!




'April 2015'

Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 1 Lourdes Place, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Founding and Restoration of Our Lady of Lourdes in Minneapolis Near this spot in 1680, Father Louis Hennepin first sighted and named the Falls of St. Anthony. Our Lady of Lourdes Church is the oldest continuously used church in the city of Minneapolis. It was designated a U.S. historic landmark in 1934 and is the first parish in the United States named in honor of Our Lady of Lourdes The superstructure of the church clearly shows two different types of architecture. The original building, the front rectangular nave, which is the part from the side doors back to the inner glass doors, was constructed of native limestone by the First Universalist Society between 1854 and 1857, in a Greek temple style, as can be seen in the enlarged photo on display in the vestibule of the church. Twenty years later, in 1877, the building was purchased by the Catholic French Canadian community, which had been a part of St. Anthony of Padua parish, the first Catholic parish in Minneapolis. This community has worshipped here continuously for over 135 years.




'March 2015'

Handicraft Guild, 89-91 10th Street South, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Handicraft Guild Building remains as unique and tangible evidence of the ideals of the founders and students of the Arts and Crafts movement in Minneapolis. In the early 1900s, in reaction to the increased industrialization of goods, the Arts and Crafts movement promoted the integrity of materials and the special quality of handmade goods. The building housed the Handicraft Guild, one of the nation’s leading arts organizations. Its central location provided a forum for a community of artists to gather to discuss ideas and share their work. The Guild focused on three broad areas of concern: the need for art education, the exhibition and sale of work, and, of course, protesting industrialization. The building, designed by architect William Channing Whitney, reflects the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement with beamed ceilings, dark rafters, and wainscoting details. March is Women's history month. Add a place related to Women's history to Placeography!




'February 2015'

Arthur and Edith Lee House, 4600 Columbus Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Arthur and Edith Lee bought the corner house in 1931, the lone black couple in an all-white neighborhood. Mobs that sometimes swelled to thousands of people surrounded the home to intimidate and force out the couple and their young daughter, who was 6 at the time. But the Lees dug in. Arthur Lee’s fellow World War I veterans and postal workers turned out in force to protect the couple, and police protected the house for more than a year. The Lees endured the hostility for about two years, before moving a mile north to the historically black Central neighborhood. Then the clash faded into history. The story remained only as lore among south Minneapolis black families until the 2001 publication of research by law Prof. Ann Juergens. Her work focused on a longtime local NAACP leader who represented the Lees during those tense times. Once the Lees’ story resurfaced, it touched off a decade long effort to preserve the story and the house. In 2014 the house was added to the National Register of Historic places. February is Black history month. Add a place related to African-American history to Placeography!




'January 2015'

Minnesota Drive-In Theatres

In the 1960s and 1970s, suburbs were becoming the new American way of living. Families moved away from the cities where the indoor theatres were and drive-ins served as a suitable substitute for family entertainment. The convenience of still having a night out at the movies without having to hire a babysitter contributed to the drive-in success story. Moms and dads tossed the kiddos in the back of the station wagon and many times, shortly after the movie started with a backdrop of the dark evening sky, the kids fell asleep and mom and dad could enjoy an inexpensive night out under the stars listening to the sweet sounds coming from the speaker hanging from the driver's side window. Some theatres offered the sound broadcast on low frequency radio (AM in the early days, AM and FM in later years.
Congratulations students in Dr. Arthur Chen's ARCH 5674 class for adding many new places to Placeography!




'December 2014'

Walker Community Library, 2901 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Thomas Barlow Walker was involved in many aspects of Minneapolis art and culture. He was a member of the Minneapolis Athenaeum, the first lending library in Minneapolis, established in 1859. He led the progressive wing of Athenaeum members in advocating for a Public Library, established in 1885 with the main library opening in 1889. In the 1870’s Walker began collecting paintings and other works of art for his house on 8th and Hennepin Ave. In 1879 Walker built a gallery between his residence and his carriage house to display 20 paintings. This was the first public gallery in the Midwest. He collected landscapes, portraits, historical paintings and bronzes, miniatures, classical and Asian art. By 1892 Walker opened three more gallery rooms and also was contributing art to the public library's art gallery its location at 10th and Hennepin Ave. The Walker Branch was first envisioned in 1909, when Minneapolis Library Board member Thomas B. Walker donated two lots at 29th and Hennepin worth $42,700 to the Library Board. In 1910 Paul Jerome Jackson was selected as the project's architect. On June 13, 1911, the Walker Branch Library celebrated its grand opening. The first librarian was Lucy C. Dinsmore, who served from 1911-1925 The new Walker Community Library, 2880 Hennepin Avenue South opened in 1981. It was designed by Myers & Bennett and built by George F. Cook Construction. The old library closed on February 7, 1981 and the new library opened on February 23. 1981. In the Summer of 2014 the original Walker library was For Sale: brochure




'November 2014'

Cold Water Springs, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Coldwater is a 10,000-year-old spring that flowed at a pre-construction rate of 100,000-144,000 gallons a day. In addition to being a living geological museum, Coldwater was a traditional gathering place for Native American tribes of the upper Mississippi that used spring water for specific ceremonies requiring sacred water in a sacred landscape. The powerful Dakota god of waters and the underworld is said to dwell at Coldwater Spring. Coldwater is also the birthplace of Minnesota, where the soldiers lived who built Fort Snelling and site of the pioneer settlement whose citizens founded St. Paul and Minneapolis. Coldwater furnished water to Fort Snelling for 100 years.
November is Native American history month. Add a place related to Native American history to Placeography!




'October 2014'

Supervisor's Office Headquarters,Ash Avenue Northwest and Second Street Northwest, Pike Bay Township, Minnesota

An example of CCC workmanship is the Chippewa National Forest Headquarters building. It was built in 1935 from local Red pine and is a three story, 8,500 square foot structure. The stairway railing was constructed by hand fitting selected maple trees and limbs that had been damaged by frost. The pride in workmanship by the CCC is most evident in this unique structure. Whether the visitor comes to observe a Bald Eagle soar high above one of the many lakes, watch the activities of the varied wildlife, fish for Walleye, hike the numerous trails, or study the unique examples of CCC workmanship, the Chippewa National Forest is ready to satisfy. Hidden in the notched logs and hammered iron of this historic building, beyond the whirr of computers, lies the spirit of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Sharp-eyed visitors to the Chippewa National Forest Supervisor's Office will spy the handprint of men like Ike Boekenoogen, Nels Bergley and the boys of Company 705, Pike Bay Camp. Using a Finnish-style log construction, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Work Project Administration (WPA) laborers created a log structure that would be difficult to duplicate today.




'September 2014'

David and Mary Stuart House, 312 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota

The house at 312 Summit, is the oldest house on Summit Avenue, and the third oldest in the entire Summit Hill neighborhood. It was built in 1858 (the year Minnesota became a state), by David Stuart, originally from Baltimore, and owner of a saw mill on the Upper Levee, below Irvine Park. Built of brick, the house was one of the city's first "cemented" or stucco covered buildings, which was a construction fad of the late 1850s. Mr. Stuart died at age 56, shortly after moving into the house in the fall of 1858, and his widow, Mary lived there until her death, just after the Civil War. The house was known as "Stuart's Folly", as the owner had started the building project during one of the largest financial crashes in U.S. history. The mansion became a boarding house in the late 1860s, and then in the 1880s became a private residence again for prominent St. Paul families, including General Herman C. Haupt, a famous civil engineer and general manager of the NP railroad, and St. Paul's longest term mayor, Robert A. Smith, who entertained President & Mrs. Cleveland at the mansion in the fall of 1887. At the turn of the 20th century, the house was purchased by the Arthur B. Driscoll family, who remodeled it, and occupied it for several decades. Driscoll was a partner in a wholesale company selling hats, caps, gloves, and fur goods, located in Lowertown. For a short time in the early 1960s, the house was used for "The Cornelia Latin Grammar School", and a few years later was being used for wedding receptions. It was returned to a private residence more than thirty years ago. JS. This house and twelve other historic buildings in the Summit Hill neighborhood of St. Paul Minnesota will be included in the September 14, 2014 Summit Hill House Tour.
Summit Hill House Tour 2014
Summit Hill House Tour Preview




'August 2014'

Town Talk Diner, 2701 East Lake Street, Minneapolis,Minnesota

The Town Talk Diner opened in 1946. This post-war period marked the return of a significant number of former soldiers to the country and the work force. Many in Minneapolis found employment at the Minneapolis -Moline tractor factory, which was located approximately 2 blocks west of the Town Talk Diner at Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue. The factory has since been demolished and a Target department store and surface parking lot now occupy the site. Paul Pearson took advantage of the small vacant strip left in the streetscape to build the diner on a busy street near a significant employer. The large, bright,colorful sign brought substantial visibility to the site from passing street cars,buses, and cars, making it easy to spot despite its small size. The Town Talk Diner is a unique example of infill development in a part of the City that was largely built out by the post-war period. The most notable design element of the Town Talk Diner is the large sign, which covers an even larger surface area than the storefront itself. This eye-catching sign was undoubtedly seen as crucial to drawing customers into the small storefront, which would otherwise be easy to overlook. The rounded-yet-blocky letters that comprise the Town Talk Diner sign are a strong example of this design aesthetic. The design integration of the sign and storefront architecture at the Town Talk Diner is the primary character defining feature of the building. While the storefront is an example of the streamline Art Moderne style.




'July 2014'

1012-14 17th Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Vinzent Schuler House (1012-14 17th Avenue North) was built in 1905 by Joseph Lang Contractors at a cost of $5000 for Vincent Schuler. The architects for this property were Boehme and Cordelia. The Minneapolis city directory for 1885 shows that Vinzent (sic) Schuler first lived at “Right lower levee foot, South 4th.” He was an employee of “Heinrich B Assoc.” A Minneapolis Public Library search revealed that Vincent Schuler married Anna Rodele in 1893. In 1889, Vincent opened Schuler Shoes on the corner of Washington and Broadway Avenues. A newspaper article said that Vincent’s wife Rodele kept a diary, reporting on a day to day basis how the business was doing and what the weather was like. The Schuler House was bought by Jack and Jean Mangan in 2009 after it fell into disrepair, was vacant, boarded and condemned. The majority of the windows on the first floor were broken by vandals, and two of the doors had been seriously damaged by trespassers during its vacancy. During the 1930s, the house had been “modernized.” The downstairs cove molding had been removed from the dining room and living room. The crown molding and “eybrow” were also removed from the top of every window and door. The natural plaster ceilings were covered with square tile. The woodwork had been painted in all of the rooms on the first floor. The woodwork in the entry way, living room and dining room was painted a garish yellow-green. Jack replaced the all the crown molding, the eyebrow and the cove molding, restored the arches and once again replaced wood trim to frame them as they looked in 1905. He also restored and saved the original cabinetry in both kitchens and both bathrooms. All the brass doorknobs and escutcheons were replaced with fixtures appropriate to 1905.Jean stripped 5 layers of wall paper from many of the walls along with layers of enamel paint and plaster between the layers of wallpaper.




'June 2014'

Stewart Memorial Presbyterian Church, 116 32nd Street East, Minneapolis, Minnesota

This Prairie School religious edifice was designed by Purcell and Feick and built for the Stewart Presbyterian Church in 1909. In 1988 the Redeemer Missionary Baptist Church purchased the building and completed the restoration in 2000. The next year it received a National Trust for Historic Preservation award. A leader in the efforts to restore the building was Clifton Johns, a resident of the South Minneapolis African-American community. When Stewart Memorial Presbyterian Church was dedicated in 1910, the Prairie Style cube stood in sharp contrast to the traditional turn-of-the-century houses surrounding it in south Minneapolis. Similar in appearance to Frank Lloyd Wright`s Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois, Stewart Memorial was the first major commission of architects William Gray Purcell and George Feick, Jr. Together with George Elmslie, another veteran of Louis Sullivan`s Chicago office, Purcell and Feick promoted the Prairie Style in Minnesota, leaving a rich architectural legacy displayed primarily in residential designs. The significance of Stewart Memorial has been acknowledged by the structure`s listing in the National Register and as a local landmark. The Church was beautifully restored in 1999-2000 by preservation architect Robert Mack of McDonald Mack. In 2014 the church was selected by the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota as a site worth saving.




'May 2014'>

2320 Colfax Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Orth House, at 2320 Colfax Avenue South, is Healy's turning-point house in his transition from designing and building the romantic Queen Annes of the Healy Block and the North Wedge, to the more classically inspired designs on the 2400 block of Bryant Avenue South and his houses on Lowry Hill. Healy's career is divided in two--before 1893 and after 1893. There was an economic crash in 1893 similar to what we experienced in 2008, only more severe. The Chicago World's Fair of 1893 with its centerpiece, the White City, profoundly changed American architecture. It finished off the Queen Anne Style that Healy was so adept at and introduced both the Neo-Classical and the Colonial Revival styles. Healy built only two houses in 1893--2320 Colfax Ave So and 821 Douglas Ave. Developer Paul Klodt demolished 821 Douglas Ave. for an apartment building in 1981. The Orth House, 2320 Colfax Ave So. was Healy's first building modifying his Queen Anne Style with many Colonial Revival features. This is a very important house in Healy's career, his turning point house. May is Preservation Month! Add your favorite "Place That Matters" to Placeography!




'April 2014'

Twin Cities Ford Assembly Plant, Saint Paul, Minnesota

The Twin Cities Ford Plant played an important role in the history of the Twin Cities and the Ford Motor Company for almost a century. The Ford Plant was built in 1925 in the Highland Park neighborhood in St. Paul. It is located just above the Mississippi River near Lock and Dam No. 1 and encompasses more than 2 million square feet. The Twin Cities Assembly Plant routinely had a higher than average productivity for the Ford Motor Company. Over 7 million vehicles and 45 different kinds of vehicles were produced at this site during its history. The plant was closed in December 2011. Demolition of the buildings began in June 2013 and may continue until the end of 2014. Brian McMahon, Historian and Director of University United, has started a group: Save Our Ford Plant Heritage Committee. Architect Albert Kahn, working with the Boston firm of Stone & Webster, was most likely the primary architect for the Twin Cities Assembly Plant. An industrial architect who had already designed several buildings for the Ford company, he based much of the TCAP’s design on the Ford Engineering Laboratory in Dearborn, Michigan, which he had also designed. With its strikingly classical facade, the Twin Cities Assembly Plant was originally designed to face the street; however, when Henry Ford saw the design drawings, he reportedly asked for the orientation of the building to be rotated 90 degrees, to allow for a sweeping view of the Mississippi River. The original facade of the plant had very large windows that looked directly in upon the assembly line, allowing tourists and other visitors to view the automobiles in their various forms of completion. However, a 1968 expansion of the plant destroyed much of this facade, replacing glass with solid walls.




'March 2014'

Almeda Yates House 1522 Hillside Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN

Almeda Yates was a teacher, artist, and missionary. She came to Minneapolis from Stillwater where she had been a teacher. Her past included a scandalous divorce from the Reverend Jeremiah Yates in Galena Illinois. He wrote a lengthy, angry, book about the incident. Almeda responded in a pamphlet a few years later. She commissioned architect William Haight and builder James Leck to build a house on the highest spot on the Hill on Hillside Avenue in North Minneapolis. The house shared the lot with an older Italianate structure which might have been a hospital or sanitorium owned by physicians Solomon Brown Sr and his son, Solomon Brown Jr. Almeda's house was a fulfillment of her dream to be a self supporting businesswoman and artist. The house has a bold ambitious elegance with large windows that brought in plenty of sunlight and a tower which made the house much grander than any of its neighbors. Almeda had private quarters for herself an had the rest of the house designed to be a boarding house to provide needed income. Hillside avenue's adjacency to 20th Avenue North (now West Broadway) which was a major commercial district and may have been on the streetcar line attracted tenants that worked nearby or in downtown Minneapolis. Almeda lived in the house for a few years. When she left Minneapolis, mementos of her past life remained in the attic of 1522 Hillside. Clothing, letters, newspapers and a faded photo of Almeda were discovered in the attic by a group of historians in 2014. Nicole Curtis of the DIY network program Rehab Addict acquired the vacant house on the recommendation of Brian Finstad who brought her to it within days of its demolition by the City of Minneapolis. The house will be restored in the Spring of 2014. March is Women's history month! Add a place related to women's history to Placeography!




'February 2014'

John Quincy Adams house, 527 Saint Anthony Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota (Razed)

This picturesque home belonged to a very successful and prominent member of Saint Paul's African-American community. John Quincy Adams was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1848 and died in Saint Paul in 1922. Adams was the editor of the Western Appeal newspaper from 1886 until his death in 1922. Adams purchased the paper in 1889 and was its sole owner. He was the first president of the Afro-American Press Association, a member of the executive council of the National Afro-American League, and the National Afro-American Council. He was a founder of the Afro-American League in Saint Paul in 1889. Adams was also a founder of the American Law Enforcement League of Minnesota and a charter member of Minnesota Protective and Industrial League. February is Black history month. Add a place related to Black/African American history to Placeography!




'January 2014'

Lincoln County Courthouse, 319 North Rebecca Street, Ivanhoe, Minnesota

Lincoln County began its history without a courthouse building to house the local government. The first meeting of the County Commissioners was held at the home of M. S. Phillips in Marshfield. County officials had their offices in various homes and stores in Marshfield until 1881, when they moved their official headquarters to Lake Benton. The railroad donated a courthouse site and the citizens of Lake Benton provided a courthouse building, which was later enlarged and improved. Then began the "Battle for the County Seat." In 1901, after the voters approved moving the county seat to Ivanhoe, the county accepted a donation of a courthouse site from landowners in that community. The legal challenges to the location of the county seat delayed construction of a courthouse building until 1903, when a contract was let for building a combined jail and sheriff's residence in Ivanhoe, to be financed by an appropriation of $17,000 from accumulated tax levies. Later that year the Minnesota Supreme Court declared that Lake Benton, not Ivanhoe, was the county seat. Switching gears, the county decided that the old courthouse in Lake Benton should be repaired. The election of 1904 changed the county seat to Ivanhoe and, with that decision made, plans moved forward for the construction of a new Lincoln county courthouse. The construction contract was awarded in 1919 for $143,200. Subsequent contracts were awarded for heating , ventilating, plumbing, electric lighting, interior marble finishing, furniture, and interior oil murals. The three-story courthouse is 108 feet x 75 feet, built of Bedford granite. Construction was completed in 1920.




'December 2013'

MInneapolis Star and Tribune Building, 425 Portland Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The current Star and Tribune building is the result of the 1938 -1947 renovation and expansion of the 1920s Star Journal buildings. The section of the building facing Portland Avenue has a 210 foot high facade of Indiana limestone with the words "Star and Tribune" and six stone medallions carved by sculptor Ivan Doseff. The medallions represent six major industries in Minnesota; mining, dairy, flour milling, fishing, lumber mills and farming. Art deco ornamentation in granite, steel and brick are featured on the Portland Avenue facade and elsewhere on the building's exterior. Bands of black granite and layers of black and cream colored brick define the building's elegant streamline moderne architectural style. The Minneapolis Star Tribune building may be demolished and replaced by either a park or commercial development in downtown East.




'November 2013'

114 Sixth Street South, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Richards Treat Inc., consisting of a cafeteria and adjoining bakeshop, located at 114 South Sixth Street in Minneapolis, and nearby coffee shop, located at 188 Northwestern National Bank Building, was owned and managed by two remarkable women, Nola Treat and Lenore Richards. They opened for business in November 1924 and for almost 33 years followed their motto of serving "Quality food for Quality Folk." Their establishment was ranked, for a time, as one of the ten best dining places in the United States and one of the two best cafeterias. At its height Richards Treat had five dining rooms that seated 300 people and served an average of 3,000 people per day. Richards and Treat were both professors of home economics at the University of Minnesota and wrote a number of books on restaurant recipes and management. They opened the restaurant to see if their management principles and recipes would work in the real world. The site they selected in downtown Minneapolis had plenty of competition and many felt the two women would not last more than a few months in the competitive restaurant business. But soon their good food and reasonable prices won many regular customers and Richards Treat became a training ground for young college women majoring in home economics who could gain experience in all areas of the restaurant trade before graduation. In fact for the first ten years or so Richards Treat had only female employees and at its height never had more than eight to ten men (mainly busboys) among its 80 employees.




'October 2013'

5109 Ridge Road Edina Minnesota

Midcentury Modern masterpiece on a spectacular .96 acre lot. Designed by local Renaissance man and architect, John Polivka. This home is an architectural jewel with sweeping walls of glass and stone, huge areas for entertaining, a wrap around deck overlooking the large private back yard, and wonderful built-in storage nicely integrated into the home design. The main floor features the signature stone fireplace with radiating beams soaring to the large windowed walls, filling the room with natural light and spectacular views of the natural setting outdoors. Also featured on the elegant main floor are hardwood floors, a wonderful formal dining room, an informal dining area, and entryway mud room with half bath and lots of storage space. Even the huge garage has a wall of windows to bring in natural light. Upper level has the master suite with fireplace and 3/4 bath. The second bedroom on this level is perfect as a den with a wet bar and entertainment system as well as a fireplace. The lower level is huge, with an enormous family room centered around the fireplace and it also has nice views and walk out to the back patio and yard. There are 2 large work rooms in the lower level that are perfect for a home office or exercise rooms. This home is very special and a beautifully preserved architectural jewel. 5 bedrooms, 4 bath, and over 5300 square feet to enjoy. 5109 Ridge Road and six other houses will be featured on Docomomo Minnesota tour day on October 5, 2013. [1]




'September 2013'

Louis Hill House, 260 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Louis succeeded his father, James J. Hill, as president of the Great Northern Railroad. The house was built directly next door to the James J. Hill house in 1902 as a wedding present for Louis and his bride Maud. They named the house "Dove Hill. Wanting more room to entertain, Louis and Maud had a large addition made to the main facade in 1913. Many rooms were added which included a ballroom. In 1948, when Louis Hill died, the home was sold to the Catholic Guild, and in 1961 was used as a Retreat House. The house was a children's hospice when Dick and Nancy Nicholson bought it to convert it back to a single family home. The Nicholsons were interested in restoring the house but also in modernizing it. New storm windows were installed throughout and exterior shutters to reflect early photos. A complete balustrade was returned to the 1912 addition. A new side entry was added for recycling and trash and to cover a leaky light well. The neighboring carriage house was annexed to the property as a guest house. A log house "folly" was built down in back as a "male retreat." The half buried Loggia was dug out to create a large terrace and lit glass fountain. The Saint Paul Heritage Preservation Commission and Saint Paul Chapter of the American Institute of Architects awarded the project the 2004 Award of Recognition, for the “sensitive restoration design of the Louis and Maud Hill House. The Louis Hill House at 260 Summit Avenue, is one of nine included on the September 19, 2013 Ramsey-Hill House tour. Ramsey Hill House tour




'August 2013'

Al's Breakfast, 414 14th Avenue Southeast, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Al's Breakfast is reportedly the narrowest restaurant in the city of Minneapolis, at a width of ten feet (3.0 m). Al's Breakfast (Dinkytown Branch) is crammed into a former alleyway between two much larger buildings and is located in the city's Dinkytown neighborhood near the University of Minnesota. The restaurant's 14 stools have seated generations of local students. The restaurant as it is today came into being in 1950 when Al Bergstrom parted ways with another neighborhood restaurateur. Bergstrom had gained experience at the griddle and in kitchen management in the 1940s while working for John L. "Jack" Robinson during summers at a popular Minnesota State Fair cafeteria. The Dinkytown building he purchased dates back to 1937 when a neighboring hardware store erected a shed in the alleyway to hold sheet metal and plumbing parts. This was eventually rented out and was a Hunky Dory hamburger stand by the time Bergstrom took it over. The new owner renamed the diner to Al's Café and first opened the doors on May 15. Initially, he produced three meals a day, seven days a week, but scaled back the operation to simply be a breakfast outlet after one year. Bergstrom retired and passed the restaurant to his nephew Phil Bergstrom in 1973–1974. Doug Grina and Jim Brandes eventually took over around 1980, and have continued to operate the diner in the same way. The recipes and short-order cooking style that Al Bergstrom developed remain the same to this day. Developer Opus Corporation has proposed a development that will replace most of the four block Dinkytown neighborhood that includes Al's Breakfast and several other locally owned businesses.




'July 2013'

Geneva Beach Resort, 105 Linden Avenue, Alexandria Minnesota

On July 20, 1883, the “Hotel Alexandria” opened on the south shore of Lake Geneva. The grand opening included a grand banquet and formal dance. The Alexandria Cornet Band furnished the music. A fine, new steamer carried excursion parties around the chain of lakes for 25 cents a round trip. A description of Lake Geneva from the Moorhead News in 1883: “We can leave our fruitful prairie valley and in a few hours’ time, at a small cost, go to one of the finest resorts that is afforded to any people. There we will find lakes of clear, blue, deep water, the banks of which are clothed with the timber of the primeval forest. These lakes afford as fine an opportunity for anglers as the most inveterate disciple of Isaak Walton need wish for. Pike, pickerel, bass, white and other fish await the opportunity of being caught. The bathing is good, the beaches are white, clear sand, and resemble the Atlantic beach. “This is a charming spot. The business man, whose system has become debilitated by close application and confinement, and whose tired brain that is ringing and buzzing with a sea of figures – discount, interests, profit and loss, margins, etc., - can here find a blissful peace, and free from care.” The hotel was sold in 1896 and renamed “Geneva Beach Hotel”. Daily rates were $2.00, but weekly rates were much less. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by fire in 1911, the day after the last of the summer guests had left. It was insured for $9,000. Two other resort hotels were built to replace the original building. A resort is still in business at this location.




'June 2013'

3001 East 24th Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota

On August 28, 1889, a building permit 20103 was issued to E. Kneeland to erect a two story wood dwelling with six rooms at 3001 East 24th Street. The construction was completed by November 1, 1889, for $1200. In 1905 the City Directory shows two families at this address. A plumbing permit issued October 4, 1906, indicates the house is “duplex”. The story in the family is that it was a “shirttail” relative who did the work. Over the decades permits were issued for: Plumbing, electrical, new roof (twice), new furnace, new garage, and so on. Fences around the lot have gone up, come down, and gone back up again. Trees have been planted and replaced. As houses go, this one is nothing special. Nobody famous ever slept here, and it cannot be called ancient. Built in 1889 in a working-class neighborhood, it is not even particularly attractive. Despite its lack of singularity, the house at 3001 East 24th Street held a special place in our family for close to sixty-five years. From the time in around 1898 when Andrew G. and Albertina Ahlberg moved into the house as renters, until about 1962 when their youngest granddaughter, Marjorie (Hill) Rogers and her husband Russ and children moved out, this was our family home, our old homestead, our anchor




'May 2013'

Anson S. Brooks Mansion, 2445 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Anson S. Brooks Mansion is a highly unusual—and unusually striking—piece of architecture in the Twin Cities. Constructed almost entirely of limestone, the imposing structure boasts accents of sandstone quoins, window casings, and other details, including elaborate interlaced arched gothic parapets and large rows of lancet windows along the west, north, and south stretches of the 3rd floor. Its architectural style is Venetian Gothic. The architects were Long & Long and construction began in 1907. The interior is a showplace for a lumber baron with an 18’ x 43’ barrel-vaulted foyer trimmed in solid mahogany. The first-floor library is finished entirely in Circassian walnut with a massive fireplace and gothic-inspired bookshelves. The dining room and grand stairway are finished in mahogany—each panel carefully selected for its uniform grain. And the stairway features an impressive two-story Art Nouveau-style stained glass window at the landing. Even the ceiling in the porte cochere connecting the mansion to the carriage house features an impressive coffered ceiling. Aside from being exceedingly elegant, the Brooks Mansion was also state-of-the-art when built. Among other features, the 15,000+ square foot mansion boasted 5 bathrooms on just the 2nd floor alone (which explains the then princely sum of $12,000+ for utilities). The second floor also contains an impressive billiard room trimmed in white oak and complete with beamed ceiling and then newly fashionable Arts & Crafts-style fireplace. The mansion even boasted a dark room on the third floor, adjacent to the grand ballroom, which was incorporated in the design to satisfy the Brooks family’s passion for photography.




'April 2013'

Minneapolis-Saint Paul Building, 2429 University Avenue West, Saint Paul, Minnesota

The Minneapolis-Saint Paul Building at 2429 University Avenue (West) is one of the most intact of the earlier buildings still standing in the area. Built in 1909, it features ornate patterned brickwork and brick pilasters. The architects were Bertrand and Chamberlain. It was built to house the office and printing plant of T.T. Bacheller's publications, the Twin City Commercial Bulletin and Northwest Trade,founded in 1883. It was named the Minneapolis-St. Paul building because it was built on the border between the two cities. In recent years it was used as office space for several social service organizations and churches. It has been vacant and for sale for several years.




'March 2013'

Alexander R. Colvin House, 1175 Davern Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota

This residence was built for Alexander R. Colvin, a physician, and his wife, Sarah Tarleton Colvin, a founder of the Minnesota Nurses Association and an activist in the suffrage movement. Sarah Colvin was chairperson from 1915-1920 of the Minnesota branch of the Congressional Union (later the National Woman's Party). She was jailed twice in 1918 in Washington, D.C. for displaying a suffrage banner in front of the White House and for burning President Woodrow Wilson in effigy. March is Women's History month. Add a place related to women's history to Placeography!




'February 2013'

Water Tower N, Highland Parkway, Saint Paul, Minnesota

The Highland Park Water Tower located on Highland Parkway in St Paul and was designed by municipal architect Clarence ‘Cap’ Wigington. Wigington is celebrated as Minnesota's first African American registered architect and quite possibly the nation's first African American municipal architect. During the years he lived in St. Paul, Wigington and his wife Viola spent most of this time at their home at 679 St. Anthony Avenue. Wigington was actively involved in the community and was a member of the Urban League, the Sterling Club, the Elks Lodge and the St. James Episcopal Church. The Highland Park Water Tower is considered Wigington's best-known work and was constructed in 1928. It is an essential part of the St Paul water system and is recognised as the only architecturally significant water tower in the city. Looming at 134 feet, the tower is a landmark in the Highland Park neighbourhood and is located at the second highest point in the City of St. Paul. The Highland Park Water Tower is octagonal in form and is a brick and cut stone structure. The base is constructed with smooth Kasota stone while the shaft is of pressed tan brick shaft punctuated with several windows. February is Black history month. Celebrate by adding a new place to Placeography!




'January 2013'

Charles F. Dight house, 4818 39th Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Razed)

Eugenicist physician Charles Freemont Dight built and lived in this tree house. Doctor Dight purchased his lot near Minnehaha Falls from Robert Fish Jones, who operated the zoo at Longfellow Gardens. Dight built the house in 1914. According to an article in the Minneapolis Tribune of June 11, 1914,
"The queer house is built on iron posts. It is 18 x 22 feet with a cupola big enough for another room. It has two living rooms and the usual accessions. Outside it is of rough plaster and tile.
The floor is wood laid on cement. The floors are double spaced and a hot water heating system will keep warm air under them. Then there are 15 windows in a lattice work, admitting more air."
When asked why he constructed his house ten feet or more above the ground, Charles Dight explained that the ground was low due to its proximity to Minnehaha Creek, that he appreciated the better view afforded by the height, and that there was more air and sunshine available up in the tree.




'December 2012'

[2]

The Terrace Theater located at 3508 France Avenue North, Minnepaolis, MN was the premier theater constructed in the International Style in 1949. The owners Sydney and William Volk created a dramatic and elegant theater for the Twin Cities for around $600,000. The Volks Hired the architectural firm Liebenberg and Kaplan to realize their vision. It became the first and most luxurious theater constructed since World War II. In 1987 Midcontinent Theater Co of Minneapolis turned the theater into a four-plex that specialized in second-run movies for $1.00 a viewing.
According to architect Robert Roscoe, “(The) Terrace Theater may be Liebenberg and Kaplans’s only early modern theater structure, and it may very well be the only midcentury in the Twin Cities suburban area still standing since the demolition of the Cooper Theater in St. Louis Park and the Southern Theater in Bloomington. Like the Cooper and the Southtown the Terrace is a physical reminder of what helps define us: our architectural history."
In 1999 the last movie was played and the windows boarded up. There is rumored to be an extended lease that ends in or around 2020. The Terrace theater continues to fall into disrepair. Due to the pending conversion from film based to digital projection technology, the Terrace is one of many independent movie theaters that is unlikely to survive.




'November 2012'

Stewart Memorial Presbyterian Church, 116 32nd Street East, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Stewart Memorial Presbyterian Church (now Redeemer Missionary Baptist Church) is one of the few Prairie School churches ever constructed. It is considered the first modern church in Minnesota and one of the first progressive structures in the Twin Cities. Purcell's revolutionary design clearly demonstrates Louis Sullivan's adage that "form follows function." With its cubic form, flat roof, large windows, broad eaves, and lack of a steeple, it was an unconventional form for a church at that time.
Purcell justified the absence of a bell tower as a way to save money and to imply that modern communication had rendered such a feature obsolete. The small neighborhood congregation held its services at a set time every Sunday, and if emergency information had to be conveyed, it could be done by telephone.
The church's cubic form is reflected in the main worship space inside. The square area has a balcony on the south side, as opposed to the conventional cross-shaped nave and transept. This floor plan allowed the entire congregation to be close to the celebrant during the service.
Purcell used continuous wood trim on the walls and ceiling to unify the interior. Simple cruciform designs are the main ornament, along with geometric electroliers, or electric chandeliers, featuring bare bulbs, still novel at the time. The most spectacular elements of this flexible space are the large, sliding west walls that now open from the main space to a two-story atrium surrounded by classrooms and offices. These glass pocket doors were walled over until the congregation could afford to build an education wing. Purcell and Feick anticipated this addition, which another firm designed and executed in 1915. The church was extensively restored in 2000
[artsmia http://www.artsmia.org/unified-vision/architectural-tour/selected-2.cfm]
A bus station will be built not far from the church as part of the recently approved City of Minneapolis I-35W Access Plan.




'October 2012'

Ingebretsen's, 1601 E Lake St, Minneapolis, Minnesota

In 1921, a young Norwegian immigrant, Charles Ingebretsen, opened a meat market, which he named The Model Market. For many years, his meat market served the predominantly Scandinavian neighborhoods near Bloomington and Lake Street. The 1960s and 70s there was a shift towards embracing individuality and diversity. Second and third generation immigrants began to explore their ethnic heritage. One way that people chose to express their ethnicity was through consumption of traditional ethnic foods and products. The Model Market opened a gift shop selling traditional Scandinavian crafts and clothing and changed its name to Ingebretsen’s Scandinavian center. Ingebretsen’s began to offer classes on topics ranging from Norwegian needlepoint to Scandinavian cooking. On September 25, 2012 Julie Ingebretsen and members of the Pauline Fjelde chapter of the Daughters of Norway unvieled the first plaque of 60 for the Museum of the Streets historic walking tour in Minneapolis. Museum of the Streets




'September 2012'

Good Templars Hall, 9965 124th Street East, Nininger Township, Minnesota

The Good Templars Hall, like the Waterford Schoolhouse, is a tribute to local citizens active in historic preservation. As the Nininger Chapter of the Dakota County Historical Society organized in December of 1975, members discussed ways in which their group could achieve their goal to preserve history. One good way, they decided, would be to restore the Good Templars Hall that was being used as the town hall, and early in 1977 they applied for a grant for restoration from the Minnesota Historical Society. MHS awarded $2,600 which the chapter had to match. The township contributed $1,000 and the chapter $250; but the greatest contribution came in the form of volunteer labor valued at $4,425, amounting to 590 hours contributed by 29 citizens. William Benjamin, who directed the project, personally contributed 312 hours!




'August 2012'

Horticulture Building, 1263 Cooper Street, Falcon Heights, Minnesota

This octagon shaped building hosts competitions, demonstrations, exhibits and concessions related to agriculture and horticulture. In 1885 a wooden- domed building was constructed as the “main building,” but was also used as the Agriculture Building for a time. In 1901, a new Agriculture Building was built, and with an addition to this building in 1912, Minnesota could boast the largest permanent building devoted to the exhibition of agricultural products in the world. The modern Agriculture Horticulture Building opened in 1947, its architecture mirroring the nearby 4-H Building with the same lit tower, vertical thrust and streamlined shapes.

  • http://www.mnstatefair.org/




    'July 2012'

    Blair Flats, 165 Western Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota

    The Blair Flats, a massive stone landmark occupying the southwest corner of the Selby and Western Avenue intersection, have been a fixture of the Cathedral Hill neighborhood for more than a century. Built in 1887 at a cost of $300,000, the building was commissioned by Frank P. Blair, secretary of the St. Paul Improvement Company, as an apartment building with storefronts on the first floor. It was designed by local builders Hermann Kretz and William H. Thomas in the High Victorian or Queen Anne style of many of the elegant homes that still dot the surrounding Summit Avenue neighborhood.




    'June 2012'

    Minneapolis Moline, Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota (1902-1962)

    In 1902, the Minneapolis Steel and Machinery Company opened for business on Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue. It later combined with the Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co. and the Moline Plow Co. to form Minneapolis Moline. Minneapolis Moline produced farm implements that were used all across Midwestern fields (and beyond). The Minneapolis Moline factory visually dominated the Lake Street landscape, and served an important purpose, both for the neighborhood and the entire country, during times of need. The factory was a valuable source of income for the neighborhood’s residents, and during wartime, the factory produced shells, warheads, and jeeps. Minneapolis Moline was also the site of numerous labor struggles. One strike in 1946, resulted in a demonstration that cut off all Lake Street traffic for 45 minutes, and shut down the factory for two months. After years of prominence in the Lake Street neighborhood, the factory began a slow decline in the 1950’s, until it closed in 1962. The shopping complex that occupies the site today was built in 1975. The former site of the Minneapolis Moline factory will be included in a neighborhood walking tour led by guides Eric Hart and Cara Letofsky on Sunday June 24th from 1:30-3:00pm. http://www.preserveminneapolis.org. http://www.longfellow.org/resources/longfellow-history-project-book.php




    'May 2012'

    Fergus Falls State Hospital, 1400 Union Avenue North, Fergus Falls, Minnesota

    State‐sponsored treatment of the mentally ill became a national trend during the late nineteenth century, and asylum buildings and mental hospitals were built in large numbers across the U.S. The Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center was built in 1888,accepted its first patients in 1906, treated thousands of the state’s mentally ill, and sustained the local economy with hundreds of jobs until its closure in 2005. The Fergus Falls complex was built using a model developed by Dr. Thomas S. Kirkbride, based on the belief that building design aided in the recuperation and maintenance of mental health. The Fergus Falls building remains one of a handful of intact Kirkbrides in the Midwest, and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. Between 2002 and 2006, the state legislature approved $7 million in bond funds that were to be used for disposition of the RTC buildings and related infrastructure improvements. Ownership of the property was transferred to the city in 2007. The City Council of Fergus Falls will demolish the historic complex in the summer of 2012 unless an alternative solution is found. The Friends of the Kirkbride group was formed to advocate for the buildings and stop the demolition.

    • this text is courtesy of the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota.




    'April 2012'

    Taylors Falls Public Library, 473 Bench Street, Taylors Falls, Minnesota

    For early Minnesota residents, public libraries often provided a getaway – a place to turn armchair traveler or lose oneself in a good book. Built originally as a residence and tailor shop for John Jacob Spengler, the house was sold in 1887 to the Taylors Falls Library Association for use as the town library. The single-story, wood-frame building was built in 1854 in the Eastlake style. The front room with its barrel-vault ceiling served as Spengler’s tailor shop, which made uniforms for Taylors Falls soldiers during the Civil War. Spengler and his family lived in the back room, decorated with oak-grained pine woodwork and a pressed tin ceiling.




    'March 2012'

    Horatio and Charlotte Van Cleve House, 603 5th Street, South East, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Although it was built for a furniture manufacturer named William Kimball, this house is chiefly associated with its second owners--Horatio and Charlotte Van Cleve. He was known for his military exploits, serving as a colonel and later as a general in the Civil War. She was a suffrage advocate, the first woman elected to the Minneapolis School Board, and the mother of 12 children. She was also a social reformer who in 1875 founded an organization to help "erring women," of which there appears to have been no shortage at the time.
    The Charlotte O. Van Cleve school built in 1895, was once at the corner of Lowry Avenue and Jefferson Street North East.
    March is Women's History Month! Add a place associated with Women's history to Placeography!




    'February 2012'

    Roy Wilkins Auditorium, 175 West Kellogg Boulevard, Saint Paul, Minnesota

    The Roy Wilkins Auditorium is named after the prominent Civil Rights leader who began his long and impressive career in civil and human rights in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Auditorium is significant to the African American heritage of Minnesota because of its association with Roy Wilkins, and it was designed by African American architect Clarence 'Cap' Wigington. Wilkins started out as an editor for a newspaper called the Northwest Bulletin. In 1955, after 24 years service in various NAACP positions, Wilkins became the organization's leader. Wilkins was worked for the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the 1968 Fair Housing Act. When Wigington took a civil service exam for the St. Paul City Architect's office, he scored the highest out of all those who completed the exam. He was appointed the senior draughtsman for the Office of Parks, Playgrounds, and Public Buildings. He designed city buildings and public structures including Monroe and Wilson Junior High and Washington High School, fire stations, park buildings and the Highland Park Water Tower. Although Wigington's architectural style was described as "simple, strong and clean", his ice palaces for St. Paul's Winter Carnival, were elaborately decorative.
    February is Black History Month! Add a new place associated with Black history to Placeography!




    'January 2012'

    Villa Louis, 521 North Villa Louis Road, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin

    The Villa Louis located on St. Feriole Island in Prairie du Chien, WI is the crown jewel of the city. The house sits atop an Indian built bound surrounded by pristine estate gardens. Hercules Louis Dousman II inherited the original house from his father Hercules Dousman I. Louis had the original house razed and hired Edward Townsend Mix in 1871 to rebuilt an Italianate Late Victorian house. The house represents Today the house has been restored to its 1880’s glory and is open to the public.




    'December 2011'

    [Clarence Johnston]

    Although born in rural Minnesota, Johnston spent the bulk of his life and career in St. Paul. He was educated in the city's public schools and began his career in the office of local architect, Abraham M. Radcliffe, in 1874 while still a student at St. Paul High School. There he met and befriended fellow-apprentice Cass Gilbert. In 1878 the friends both entered the new MIT Department of Architecture. With good local connections through James Power, an associate of Railroad magnate James J. Hill, Johnston soon gained a number of important commissions to build homes for prominent Minnesotans, including Power, William R. Merriam, Chauncey Griggs, and Addison Foster. Starting in the late 1890s this led to a long association between Johnston and the State of Minnesota, which saw the architect design many buildings for state institutions, particularly state hospitals, the state university system and the University of Minnesota. One of the buildings Johnston designed was for the Minnesota Historical Society.
    Gracious Spaces Clarence H. Johnston
    Life and Work of Clarence Johnston
    St. Paul’s Architecture
    The Minnesota Historical Society



    'November 2011'

    Peavey Plaza, Nicollet Mall and 11th Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    <p> "Following on the tremendous success of Lawrence Halprin’s design and conversion of Nicollet Avenue into the pedestrian-friendly Nicollet Mall in 1967, a new priority arose- a public space for gathering that would not compete with mall activities. In response to this need, M. Paul Friedberg + Partners created Peavey Plaza in 1973. Often referred to by Friedberg as a “park plaza,” this two-acre space is also described by him as “a mixture of the American green space and the European hard space.” The plaza contains many design elements from Friedberg’s earlier Riis Park Plaza, recognized also in his later design for Pershing Park. These include amphitheater- style seating oriented around the sunken plaza which also served as a pool basin (filled with water during the summer or frozen in winter for skating), cascading and spraying fountains to animate the space, lawn terraces, and many sculptural objects. The plaza affords ample opportunities for large- and small-scale gatherings. The cascading fountain adjacent to Nicollet Avenue feeds the sunken pool while creating an inviting visual link to the Mall. Just a couple of blocks south of Peavey Plaza, on the opposite side of the mall, lies Loring Greenway, completed by Friedberg the following year." Description of Peavy Plaza from the Cultural Landscape Foundation The recently announced Peavy Plaza redesign is controversial and is opposed by Friedberg, Historic Preservation Organizations, the Cultural Landscape Foundation and DOCOMOMO.




    'October 2011'

    Amherst H. Wilder residence, 226 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul (1887-1959)

    Wilder was one of Saint Paul's pioneer businessmen. He came to the city in 1859 from his home in Lewis, New York, and over time accumulated a fortune in the development of the Northwest. A bold and versatile entrepreneur, Wilder's diversified interests included trading, freight and stage coach transportation, railroading, lumbering, banking, insurance, real estate and merchandising. Shortly after arriving in Saint Paul, Wilder met Fanny Spencer, who had come to the city from Utica, New York, to visit her brother, a clerk of the United States District Court. Amherst and Fanny married in1861. Their daughter, Cornelia Day, was born in 1868. It is believed that it was Cornelia's lifelong volunteer work that influenced the Wilders to leave their estate to help the less fortunate. In his book, Lost Twin Cities, Larry Millett describes the Wilder Mansion which was designed by architects William Wilcox and Clarence Johnson in 1887. "It was red brick and Lake Superior Sandstone...the house was a Tudor Revival with strong Richardsonian Romanesque elements...the houses' Summit Avenue front presented a broken arrangement of oriels, bays, & gables behind a Gothic arched porte cochere. Unlike many houses on the avenue, the Wilder mansion was carefully oriented to exploit views from the bluff, with an open porch at the rear wrapped around a three story circular tower." The Amherst H. Wilder Mansion is one of many late great demolished homes for the wealthy featured in Larry Millett's just published book, Once There Were Castles. Once There Were Castles.




    'September 2011'

    Batcher Opera House, 418 2nd Avenue NE, Staples, Minnesota

    Charles Edward Batcher was born near Rochester Minnesota in 1866. He studied architectural drawing in Minneapolis. By 1895 he had settled in Staples and in 1896 he married Jennie Root. Batcher's primary business was construction and he is credited with building at least 200 residences and commerical structures in Staples. He also operated a millwork factory which produced doors, windows and staircases for the interiors of his buildings. In 1907 he completed the construction of the two story Batcher Block building adjacent to the Main Street on 2nd Avenue and 4th Street NE. On the ground floor was a grocery and a hardware store. On the second floor Batcher added an opera house with a proscenium stage, two private boxes and a balcony. The theater's design maximizes acoustics according to John Scott Russell’s theory of an “isacoustic curve.” The walls gently slope upward toward coved ceilings, the seating slopes downward toward the stage. The predominant color of the theater's interior is a deep burgundy, by contrast, the private boxes are robin's egg blue. Elaborate cartouches, floral decorations, patriotic scenes and dragons ornament the interior. It is said to be the finest intact original interior of any Opera House in Minnesota.




    'August 2011'

    Thomas Sinclair House, 402 North 4th Street, Stillwater, Minnesota

    In 1856, a 24 year-old Irish stonemason, Thomas Sinclair, and his 18 year-old Maine-born wife, Elmira, purchased the 50 by 150 foot hillside lot on the northwest corner of Fourth and Linden Streets for the extravagant price of $350. The following year, they took out a $600 mortgage at a 4 percent monthly interest rate with a private party, and all the evidence indicates they built the house at 402 North Fourth Street in 1856 or 1857. Captain Sinclair went on to become one of the most significant stone masons in Stillwater working on the new Central School, and many of the commercial buildings downtown. The Staples ultimately raised seven children in their home at 402 North Fourth Street. After Josiah’s death in 1892, and Lydia’s death in 1906, the home remained in the family’s hands until 1929.




    'July 2011'

    Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Saint Paul, Minnesota

    This is the third Minnesota State Capitol building. The first Capitol was a two story brick building at Tenth and Cedar Streets, constructed in 1853. It was destroyed by fire in 1881.

    When a second Capitol was completed in 1882, it was already too small for the growing state government. Complaints of overcrowding and poor ventilation dogged the building from the start. The second Capitol was razed in 1937.

    Bills proposing a new Capitol were introduced in 1893. In 1895 Cass Gilbert's design won a competition that included 41 other entries. It was built at a cost of $4.5 million. The Capitol is 434 feet long and 229 feet wide, featuring a dome 89 feet in diameter.




    'June 2011'

    Eddy Hall, 192 Pillsbury Drive Southeast, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Eddy Hall was constructed in 1886 as the Mechanic Arts Building for the University of Minnesota. The building is the oldest existing building on the Minneapolis campus. The architect was Leroy Buffington . Originally the Mechanic Arts Building, the name was changed to Eddy Hall to honor Henry Turner Eddy a professor of engineering and mathematics and the Dean of the Graduate School for the university. The building originally housed the mathematics, drawing, civil-municipal-structural engineering departments, as well as testing laboratories.

    In recent years the Veterans Transition Center, UCCS Test Center, Student Academic Success Services, Career Development Program, Counseling & Consulting Services, Spanish and Portuguese language studies, and the Student Conflict Resolution Center had offices in the building.

    Eddy Hall will be closed on June 30, 2011.

    Although the University says it has "no plans for demolition," unless an academic program, research institute or adminstrative office move into Eddy Hall in the near future, it's existence could be endangered.




    'May 2011'

    Prospect_Park_Water_Tower,_55_Malcolm_Avenue_Southeast,_Minneapolis,_Minnesota

    Located in Tower Hill Park, the water tower was designed by Minneapolis city engineer Frederick William Cappelen, a Norwegian-American who also designed the Franklin Avenue (F.W. Cappelen Memorial) Bridge. The site was originally purchased by the city in order to improve the water pressure to the Prospect Park area. Constructed in 1913, it functioned as a water tower until 1952. It was hit by lightning in 1956, and was slated for demolition until the community rallied to save it. Restored in 1984, on November 13, 1997 the Prospect Park Water Tower along with Tower Hill Park were officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Currently open only once a year on the Friday evening following Memorial Day, the community holds an ice cream social and visitors are welcome to climb the water tower and take in the views from the observation deck.

    May is Preservation month. Have a story of a historic place that was saved? Let us know!




    'April 2011'

    Andrew Olson House, 2635 Lyndale Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    The Andrew Olson house was one of the first houses built on a hill overlooking Farview Park in North Minneapolis. Andrew Olson was a son of Olaf and Amalia Christina (Nesberg) Olson. He was born on June 11,1857 in Brunflo parish near Osterlund, Sweden. He emigrated to Minnesota in April 1882. In 1885 he opened up a merchant tailoring shop at 1007 Washington Avenue North which later moved to 235 Nicollet Avenue. In 1886, the house at 2635 Lyndale Avenue North was built.

    The Andrew Olson house is close to the Old Highland historic neighborhood in North Minneapolis http://www.placeography.org/index.php/Old_Highland%2C_Minneapolis%2C_Minnesota




    'March 2011'

    Charles M. Harrington House, 2540 Park Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Minneapolis architects Kees and Colburn designed 2540 Park Ave South in 1902 for Charles M. Harrington, president of the Van Dusen-Harrington Company. The interior design was by John Scott Bradstreet. The first floor of the Harrington home contained a library, drawing room, dining room, den, kitchen and servants’ hall, while the Harrington family’s bedrooms were located on the second floor and a ballroom and auditorium filled the third floor. The home’s basement housed a billiard room and card room. The Harrington home was featured in a 1904 article in the Western Architect. In 1929, 2540 Park Avenue was purchased by the Zuhrah Shrine. The Shriners owned the mansion from 1929-2011; 82 years. It was recently sold to St. Mary's University.




    'February 2011'

    Sears Building, 900 E Lake Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Throughout its 80-year history, the Sears building has been a focal point in the community because of its physical size, and the economic and social impact it had on the area. 40 homes were razed to build it in 1928 at a cost of $5 million. It took less than a year to build it without any public subsidies. Sears employed nearly 2000 workers in the store or nine regional catalog centers. In 1994, Sears, Roebuck and Company left the neighborhood. Ex-workers and residents in the area were shocked and saddened. The neighborhoods began an economic decline and the building remained boarded and vacant for a decade. In 2004, a coalition of business, community, government, and nonprofit groups joined the effort to revitalize the building. Ryan Companies spent over $192 to redevelop the 1.2 million square foot building. In June 2006, the Sears building reopened, housing the Midtown Global Market--providing food, produce and merchandise, Allina Hospitals and Clinics, and a mixture of market and affordable housing, a hotel, and government services to serve the local community and bring people back to Lake Street.




    'January 2011'

    [Schmidt Brewing Company 882 7th Street West, St. Paul, Minnesota]

    The brewing industry in Minnesota grew with the influx of German immigrants in the 1840s and 50s, who brought with them a new method of brewing through lagering and refrigeration. Barrels of fermenting beer were stored in the cool limestone caves near the Mississippi River. Christopher Stahlmann immigrated from Bavaria to St. Paul in 1855. By the late 1870s, his "Cave" brewery was the largest in Minnesota. In 1900, Jacob Schmidt purchased the brewery and began an expansion project that included forced-air drying and modern mechanical refrigeration. When Jacob Schmidt died in 1910 his business partners, Adolf and Otto Bremer made the brewery into one of the leading regional beer producers in the country. Although the complex of buildings is now vacant, the Schmidt Brewery, with it's large red blinking sign and famous slogan "The Brew that Grew with the Great Northwest" remains an icon within St. Paul's West End neighborhood.




    'December 2010'

    Paramount Theatre, 913 St. Germain Street West, Saint Cloud, Minnesota

    On Christmas Eve, 1921, citizens of Central Minnesota paid fifty cents to attend the grand opening of "St. Cloud's Largest and Finest Playhouse," The Sherman Theatre. The event, featuring D.W. Griffith's silent film "Way Down East" was accompanied by a live orchestra. This was the beginning of generations of entertainment at the theatre including Vaudeville acts, operas, concerts, Broadway road shows, animal acts, wrestling matches, speeches, political rallies, plays and movies. By the mid 1960s the Paramount had fallen into disrepair. The building fell victim to fire on Tuesday, January 15, 1985. The damage was extensive; estimated at $60,000. During the early 1990s the Paramount was patched and upgraded to provide a home for live theatre again. The cooperation of many groups was needed to complete the Paramount Theater's renovation. More than just a theater, the Paramount Theater Resource Trust is working to improve artistic opportunities for residents of Central Minnesota.




    November 2010

    Pillsbury A Mill, 301 Main Street South East, Minneapolis, Minnesota


    The Pillsbury A Mill, constructed in 1881, was once the largest and most advanced flour mill in the world. Situated on the east bank of the Mississippi in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the mill took advantage of the power produced by St. Anthony Falls to produce 17,500 barrels of flour per day. Pillsbury A Mill was added to the list of National Historic Landmarks in 1966. Of the four large flour mills in the city during the peak of Minneapolis’s reign as the milling capital of the country, the Pillsbury A Mill is the only remaining. In 2003 Minneapolis developer Schafer Richardson aquired the Pillsbury A Mill with the intent of converting it into condominiums. This project is currently in foreclosure. The Mill may be sold at auction on November 15, 2010.




    October 2010

    1617 Dupont Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Here is an excellent example of a Queen Anne residence with Eastlake detailing, representative of northside settlement. It was built in a lightly developed area toward the end of the golden age of Minneapolis (late 1870s to 1893), contemporary with a massive flourishing lumber industry, located predominantly on the north side, and an emerging flour milling industry. By 1898 the immediate area was sufficiently dense to support the Swedish Evangelical Church at Sixteenth and Dupont, but land west of Girard Avenue remained vacant, probably due to economic depression remaining from the Panic of 1893. Owner Rudolph Ertl was a northside clothier with his store near Plymouth and North Washington Avenues where he also resided. O. Meyer and Thori are listed as architects of the Ertl House.




    September 2010

    Image of Old Main at Hamline University, Saint Paul, Minnesota
    [3]Old Main, Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul

    Hamline University named for Bishop Leonidas Hamline was chartered in 1854 in Red Wing and was initially a preparatory school. By the early 1860's the school included a college program but by 1869 they suspended operations due to the lack of funds. While trying to raise funds the school decided to move to Saint Paul but reopening plans were delayed by the panic of 1873. Under the direction of Reverend John Stafford the school reopened its doors in 1880 in St. Paul in a 5 story building known as University Hall, known today as 'Old Main.' Dr. George Bridgman served as the president of the institution from 1884 until 1912 and was largely responsible for developing it into a well-established school.




    August 2010

    Image of the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, Falcon Heights, Minnesota
    [Minnesota State Fairgrounds]

    An important change in the State Fair over the years has been in the attractions offered to fair visitors. The character of early fairs was dominated by agricultural exhibits and competitions, reflecting its original purpose of encouraging farming in the state. While agriculture is still the primary focus, the scope of activities has broadened to include large-scale entertainment features, technological and industrial exhibits and scores of education and government institutions.




    July 2010

    Image of 927 West 3rd Street, Red Wing, Minnesota
    James L. Lawther House, 927 West 3rd Street, Red Wing, Minnesota

    Octagonal brick house with cupola, built in 1857 for James L. Lawther, prominent civic leader and real estate dealer. Lawther was born in Ireland and immigrated to the United States in his teens. He came to Red Wing in 1855 when he was 23 years old. He worked as a real estate agent, a banker, grain merchant, and property owner, and quickly built a reputation as a sound businessman and shrewd investor. He built a landmark octagon-shaped home in Red Wing that still stands today. He moved back to Ireland to spend the last 15 years of his life, but his connections to Minnesota were strong enough that when he died, Minnesota newspapers published his obituary.




    June 2010

    Image of 445 Smith Avenue North
    Anthony Waldman House, 445 Smith Avenue North, Saint Paul, Minnesota

    Until recently, the limestone building at 445 Smith Avenue was known in surveys and local architectural history books as the “Anthony Waldman House.” However, recent research and analysis of the building has revealed that the Waldman House was not in fact built by Waldman, and was not originally a "house" either. Instead, the structure was a small commercial building with residential quarters on the second floor. Documentary evidence suggests that the stone portion of the building dates to the late fall of 1857, coinciding with the onset of the Panic of 1857. Another unexpected discovery is that parts of the the wood frame addition to the rear of the stone building actually predate the stone portion, making the latter the true "addition." The research is ongoing, and no doubt the Waldman House has more stories to tell.




    May 2010

    Image of Bloomington Town Hall
    Bloomington Town Hall, 10200 Penn Avenue, Bloomington, Minnesota

    Bloomington Town Hall, is located at Old Shakopee Road and Penn Avenue in Bloomington, Minnesota. The Town Hall is one of the few remaining examples of the Township period in the Twin City Metropolitan area and among the largest town halls in the State of Minnesota. It was continuously used for township, village and city government purposes from 1892 to 1964.




    April 2010

    Image of Horn House
    Horn House, 50 Irvine Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota

    When the house was built in 1869 it originally faced the river with an address on Washington Street. David Riddle Breed, who was one of the founding clergy of House of Hope Presbyterian Church, occupied the house. In 1874 Dr. Jacob H. Stewart purchased the Washington Street house. Stewart was the distinguished surgeon of the 1st Minnesota Regiment during the Civil War and later served five terms as mayor of St. Paul.




    March 2010

    Image of Franklin Coop-Creamery
    Franklin_Cooperative Creamery

    This successful business grew from the ideas of a few people. In September 1919, a group of workers tried to become members of the Milk Driver's Union, Local 471. An organization known as the Citizen's Alliance encouraged milk dealers to fear the idea of union drivers. A strike was called by one creamery, and other milk processing plants "locked out" workers. This meant that Minneapolis residents were unable to buy perishable dairy products for their families.




    February 2010

    Image of Florence Court
    Florence Court, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    The Florence Court complex, and especially the 1886 row houses, are an excellent example of early urban planning in Minneapolis. The row houses are the earliest surviving example in the city of this type of building. The addition of the cottages in the early 1920s and their alteration to fit the style of the row houses reinforces the planned aspect of this housing development. The location of the complex is also integral in its significance; its proximity to the University of Minnesota and the Great Northern Railroad made it an ideal location for housing employees of those entities.




    January 2010

    Image of Peoples' Gallery
    Harry Shepherd's People's Gallery,Saint Paul, Minnesota (razed)

    Harry Shepherd was one of the only 19th century Afro-American photographers to obtain a position of notoriety in Minnesota.

    Indeed, Shepherd was one of the most accomplished 19th century photographers to work in Minnesota: He owned three galleries in St. Paul, and he won numerous awards for the artistic merit of his photographs.




    December 2009

    Image of Milwaukee Avenue.
    Milwaukee_Avenue_Minneapolis_Minnesota

    Milwaukee Avenue is an urban neighborhood of several streets consisting of brick 19th century railroad workers houses. In the 1970's the neighborhood was selected for "redevelopment" by demolition. A group of young architects and neighborhood residents formed a political action group and successfully gained the support of Minneapolis City officials to save the houses. The architects and other group members renovated the houses, became residents of Milwaukee Avenue and revitalized the neighborhood.



    November 2009

    Image of the J.E. & R.E. Johnson Grocery side view house.
    J.E. & R.E. Johnson Grocery, 2900 East 26th Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    The Johnson Grocery was built by Swedish immigrant and master mason Jakob Emanuel Johannesson (Jacob E. Johnson) in 1903. According to his grandchildren, he was injured in a fall while working on the construction of Minneapolis City Hall, forcing him to find a new profession. He first built a candy store at 2904 East 26th Street (ca 1900; a wooden structure now gone), and later constructed the solid yellow brick building at the corner of 29th Avenue South and East 26th Street.




    October 2009

    Image of the Chauncey and Martha Griggs Mansion showing side of house.
    Chauncey and Martha Griggs Mansion, 476 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota
    The Chauncey and Martha Griggs Mansion was built in 1885. The house is said to be the most haunted in St. Paul. Resident ghosts include a young maid who committed suicide in 1915, a gardner named Charles Wade, an officer in a Civil War uniform, a teenaged girl name Amy and several children.


    September 2009

    Ray St. Martin, Herb Oslund, Frank Arver, Howard Cress and Charles Bell with their camera equipment in front of Ray-Bell Films.
    Ray-Bell Films, 823 University Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota
    During WWII Ray-Bell Films produced more films for the Office of Education than any other film company. By the middle of the century, with its origin in 1910 as Raths-Seavolt, Ray-Bell Films was the oldest commercial filmmaking company in the United States.


    August 2009

    Pauline Fjelde House
    Pauline Fjelde House, 3009 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Pauline Gerhardine Fjelde was born in Aalesund Norway in 1861. In 1893, Pauline and her sister Thomane were chosen to embroider the first Minnesota state flag (used from 1893 to 1957). The flag won a gold medal at the 1893 World Columbian exposition in Chicago. In November, a wrecking permit was applied for to demolish the house and use the land for a parking lot but was denied by the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission. However, the house is vacant and vulnerable to further damage by intruders and demolition by neglect.


    July 2009

    Hiram Jacoby Photography Studio ca.1870
    Hiram Jacoby Photography Studio, Minnesota Avenue, Saint Peter, Minnesota
    Hiram J. Jacoby was a pioneer Minnesota photographer. He came to Minneapolis with his brother William Jacoby in the 1860s, but he soon moved to St. Peter, Minnesota. Hiram operated a photography studio in St. Peter for more than two decades. In 1874 Hiram replaced the studio pictured here with a more well-appointed brick studio and gallery.


    June 2009

    Stillwater State Prison, 1912
    Stillwater State Prison, Stillwater, Minnesota
    A territorial prison was established in Stillwater by an act of the territorial legislature in February 1851. It began to receive inmates in March of 1853 at a facility consisting of a prison building with 582 cells, a chapel, dining hall, kitchen, and administrative offices within a nine-acre walled area.


    May 2009

    Maple Hill Cemetery 1873
    Maple Hill Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Established as Maple Hill Cemetery in 1857, closed in 1890 and later was converted into a park. In 1935, the area was called Folwell Playground. This area has also been called Maple Hill Park and is currently called Beltrami Park. While most of the tombstones have been removed a few have "popped" up and can still be seen.


    April 2009

    New Schwanden, Minnesota
    New Schwanden, Minnesota
    Founded in May 1854 and settled on March 25, 1855, New Schwanden was located in the Dayton, Maple Grove and Champlin Townships near the cities of Champlin, Osseo and Maple Grove. New Schwanden can not be found on a Minnesota map. The last families removed in favor of the Elm Creek Park Reserve.


    March 2009

    Minneapolis Armory, 500-530 6th Street South, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Minneapolis Armory
    The Minneapolis Armory was constructed in 1935 as part of the WPA. In the 7 decades since it was built it has seen not only military training, but sporting events and even stared in music videos.

    It is currently being used as a car park.



    February 2009

    Old Main, Saint Paul, Minnesota
    Old Main, Hamline University, Saint Paul, Minnesota
    Old Main is one of the most sophisticated and oldest college buildings in the State and is an excellent example of the Ruskinian variety and of High Victorian Gothic architecture as practiced by Warren H. Hayes, a Minneapolis architect who was well known for his church designs and was probably selected as the architect of this building because of his experience in designing church auditoriums. The building is wonderfully intact and is the center of campus activities.


    January 2009

    Dinky Dome, 1501-1509 University Avenue Southeast, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Dinky Dome, 1501-1509 University Avenue Southeast, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Now a Dinkytown landmark, the Dinky Dome as it is known today is named so both because of its adjacency to the neighboring commercial district and due to one of its most distinctive features, a glass dome. Designed by Architect John V. Koester, the building, built in 1915 for the Scandinavian Christian Unity Bible College / International Christian Missionary Bible College harks back to the classical revival styles of the early colonial buildings of America in its grandiose classic quality and in the details of the doors, windows, cornice, and capitals.


    December 2008

    470 Hopkins Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota

    470 Hopkins Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota
    This house is part of an exhibit at the Minnesota Historical Society, "Open House: If These Walls Could Talk," an interactive exhibit that opened on Jan. 14, 2006 at the Minnesota History Center, bringing to life the adage “if these walls could talk” by using a single, existing house-in the Railroad Island neighborhood on St. Paul’s East Side-as a window into the daily lives of people of the past.


    November 2008
    Moose Lake State Hospital, Moose Lake, Minnesota
    Moose Lake State Hospital, the fourth hospital for the insane in Minnesota, was built as a public works administration project in 1936-1938. Massive brick buildings created a rather somber interpretation of the Colonial Revival style which was certainly affected by the Depression.


    October 2008
    White Hall, 500 White Hall Shrine Road, Richmond, Kentucky
    White Hall, the most widely-known historic house in Madison County, Kentucky, was the residence of the “Lion of White Hall,” Cassius Marcellus Clay (1810-1903). Clay was a Kentucky legislator, U.S. minister to Russia during the Lincoln, Johnson, and Grant administrations (1860-1869), a writer, an orator, a major general in the Union Army, and an outspoken emancipationist.


    September 2008
    Bardwell-Ferrant House

    In 1890 Emil Ferrant commissioned architect Carl Struck to add two Moorish towers, stained glass and a wrap around porch in the shape of an exotic flower supported by the stems of slender spiral posts.

    Sadly, the house is in danger and in need of a compassionate owner. While vacant, vandals and looters have removed fireplace mantles and broken windows in the house.



    August 2008
    722-724 East 17th Street

    Built in 1893 by D. R. Wagner, a grain commissioner in Minneapolis, this is the site of the 2008 Elliot Park Neighborhood Archaeology Site dig. Plans are to move and renovate the currently vacant and boarded house and develop the lot along with several adjacent vacant lots.



    July 2008
    Bennett-McBride House, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    In 1977 this house was individually listed on the National Register as an outstanding example of the Queen Anne style.

    In 1993 thirteen other houses designed and built by Healy joined the Bennett-McBride House on the National Register as the Healy Block Residential Historic District.

    One of the most ornate and intact Queen Anne style houses remaining in Minneapolis, the Bennett-McBride House is elegantly detailed and handsomely preserved.



    June 2008
    Bartholomew House, 6901 Lyndale Avenue, Richfield

    General Riley Lucas Bartholomew came to Minnesota and filed a claim on the shores of Wood Lake. Part of the claim had been military reservation land which was now available for settlement as a result of the congressional action. Here he pitched a tent and proceeded to build the two story section of the house making ready for his wife, Fanny, and his children to follow from Wisconsin in the spring of 1853. Soon after building the house, two single story additions were moved from near Minnehaha Falls as finished buildings and adjoined the original house.



    May 2008
    John W. Smith House

    This two-story brick and stucco home ia a Prairie Style derivative originally built for John W. Smith in 1915. The original home was designed by Dorr and Dorr Architects. In 2000 the front porch was remodeled and a new entry door was added. At the same time the original front stoop was replaced and new sidewalk to the house incorporating planters and retaining walls was constructed. The addition won a Preservation Award in 1998 from the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission and an award from Custom Home magazine in 2000.



    April 2008
    St. Matthew's Church (Rock of Ages)
    One of the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota's Ten Most Endangered Historic Places 2008, St. Matthew’s Church is a Gothic Revival style brick church in the Frogtown neighborhood of Saint Paul.

    The walls of St. Matthew’s Church are bowing outwards and the sanctuary ceiling is collapsing. Water damage further threatens the building. Development pressures along the Central Corridor may lead a purchaser to scrap the church in favor of a new use.



    March 2008
    Annice E. Keller House

    The Annice E. Keller house, or Keller Row, House #8 at 761 East Sixth Street, was commissioned by the widow of the wealthy lumber baron John M. Keller. Called the "Head of the single most outstanding ... property development in the district..." by the St. Paul heritage preservation commission.



    February 2008
    Reinhold Zeglin House, 3621 Park Avenue

    According to Minneapolis building permits, original owners Anson W. and Ella B. Morey commissioned Barclay Cooper to build this Colonial Revival home in the middle of a double lot on Park Avenue in south Minneapolis in June of 1905. Construction was completed in November of 1905, at a total cost of $5,085.

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