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
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.
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. 
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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
A bus station will be built not far from the church as part of the recently approved City of Minneapolis I-35W Access Plan.
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
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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
<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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.