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Florence Court, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Florence Court

Florence Court in November 2009 (taken by Sami Fure and used with permission)
Location of Site: The area known as Florence Court takes up the majority of a city block, bounded by University Avenue SE on the north, 2nd Street SE on the south, 10th Avenue SE on the west, and 11th Avenue SE on the east.
Neighborhood/s: Marcy-Holmes, Minneapolis, Minnesota
City/locality-
State/province
Minneapolis, Minnesota
County-
State/province:
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year Established: 1886
Founded by: Jeremiah Spear
Historic Function: Housing development
Current Function: Housing development

Marcy-Holmes Minneapolis Hennepin

Florence Court, Minneapolis, Minnesota
(44.9817197° N, 93.2420787° WLatitude: 44°58′54.191″N
Longitude: 93°14′31.483″W
)
Florence Court is a multi-structure site including an L-shaped row house complex (#8-#18), four cottages (#19, #20, #25, and #27), and one larger brick dwelling (1018 University Avenue SE). The site is currently (as of November 2009) in the early stages of redevelopment and renovation.

Contents


Site History

Description and Building List

The L-shaped row houses described above and the larger brick house were built in 1886 by Jeremiah Spear, who also acted as the architect and real estate agent. The four cottages were moved to the site in 1921. The structures form a U-shape facing a central courtyard, which is traversed by a driveway that follows the contour of the L-shaped structure,with entrances from University Avenue SE and 11th Avenue SE.

The site has always been used for private residence. In its early years it was occupied by middle-class families including workers on the Great Northern Railroad and members of the University of Minnesota's faculty. It is currently occupied mainly by students of the University and other young adults living and working in the Twin Cities.

The buildings which make up the site are as follows:

Significance

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.

Redevelopment

Florence Court is currently in the early stages of renovation and redevelopment. The row houses/apartments are being renovated as part of a compromise between the Marcy Holmes Neighborhood Association and the owner of the site, who plans to build a six-story apartment complex on the north side of the site, facing University Avenue. It should be noted that the exterior of the row houses is the only part of the site that has received official historic designation; the interiors of this complex (many of which contain original woodwork) and the cottages are not protected from demolition or alteration. These changes are viewed with disfavor by many of the residents (both past and present) and a small protest movement has begun on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace (see links below).



Memories and stories

Historical Photographs and Documents

Recent Photographs

Renovation Photographs of Apartment #13-1

Related Links

The City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission's Website on Florence Court

Current Hennepin County Tax and Property Information for Florence Court

Jeremy Stratton (TC Daily Planet) Article on New Development at Florence Court

"Stop the Destruction of Florence Court" Facebook Group

"Save Florence Court" MySpace Page


References

“National Register of Historic Places – Nomination Form,” June 1981.

The City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission's Website on Florence Court

Jeremy Stratton (TC Daily Planet) Article on New Development at Florence Court

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