Heritage Preservation Commission

Public Service Center
250 S. 4th St., Room 300
Minneapolis, MN 55415
612-673-3000

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Historic Context Studies

Minneapolis Public Schools Historic Context Study

In 2004, the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission commissioned a historic context study of the Minneapolis Public Schools.  The historic context study spans more than 100 years and the approximately 140 buildings constructed, acquired, maintained, expanded, and sometimes removed by the Minneapolis School Board of Education between 1849 and 1962.  The timeframe extends from the first public schools constructed in Minneapolis to the expansion of the elementary and junior high schools for the post-World War II baby-boom generation.

Historic context studies provide a framework for evaluating historic resources relative to specific themes, timeframes and locations and are useful for many types of preservation-planning activity.  The development of public-school building types is the primary focus of this study, as school types reflected national trends in educational building design as well as the attention of local architectural firms and the Board of Education’s own architects.  While public schools have played a great role in the development of the City’s neighborhoods and in fact share their names with many of them, this study does not analyze school histories or the variety of local events that have taken place in the facilities.  Instead it examines the creation and maintenance of the school physical plant as evidenced by Minneapolis Board of Education policy and building design and describes the relationship of each remaining property to advances in school construction and program development.  The historic context narrative includes an inventory of existing schools, including those now in private ownership.  Inventory forms for all properties are on file with the HPC.

If you have questions about this context study, please contact Jack Byers at (612) 673-2634.

Last updated Sep 27, 2011