Calhoun Square, 3000 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Calhoun Square

Calhoun Square
Hennepin Ave looking south toward W Lake St, 1938
Address: 3000 Hennepin Avenue S
Neighborhood/s: Uptown, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Major Alterations: Altered
Current Function: Business
Architect or source of design: Paul Pink and Assoc

Uptown Minneapolis Hennepin

Calhoun Square, 3000 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota
(44.948352,-93.298271warning.png"44.948352.-93.298271" is not a number. )

In 1975 Calhoun Elementary was demolished due to low enrollment, opening up 3.5 acres of prime real estate on Hennepin and Lake Street. The city voted 12-1 to declare the neighborhood 'blighted' in order to receive federal grants and the right to invoke eminent domain in order to support a plan to build a 65,000- 70,000 square foot Shopping Center. Many residents didn't believe the neighborhood was blighted and further opposed the project for fear that the proposed shopping mall would destroy the unique character of the area and turn it into another cookie cutter suburban mall.

Despite the opposition, Calhoun Square was built, and opened on February 15, 1984. To residents' delight Calhoun Square increased traffic forcing the city to designate portions of Lagoon and Lake as one-way, architecturally integrated old and new, and has since become a neighborhood landmark and an anchor to the Hennepin-Lake area.


Memories and stories


I attended Calhoun Elementary in the late '60's. What a time to be in that area, the funky center of the nascent hippie movement. The things we saw, walking around Lake Calhoun and around the Uptown area. People dressed in outlandish clothes and trying out behaviors that, while considered tame today, were pretty radical in that buttoned-up era. I remember being scared of hippies, afraid they would force me to take drugs against my will. Yet we ourselves were affected by the changes in dress and manners. We went barefoot everywhere, or wore leather moccasins even in the dead of winter. We even took the bus barefoot to go swimming at the "Y". At Calhoun, they would make a skating pond for us on the lot outside the school. I remember the school had hardwood floors, and the wooden stairs were concave from years of use. I also remember we were forced to wear dresses to school every day, even in the dead of winter. Only if it were colder than 20 below were we given a reprieve. If we wore pants under our dresses to school, we had to take them off upon arrival. Ridiculous!


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