Minneapolis Heritage Preservation:
Building a future for Minneapolis... by preserving its past
Preserving significant parts of our past gives us a sense of our "roots," and helps us remember where we came from and see where we want to go.
What should be preserved?
Not everything should be preserved. Just because a building or district is old doesn’t mean it should be saved. To be considered for designation, a building or district must represent and reflect elements of the city’s culture, social, economic, religious, political, architectural, or aesthetic heritage.
Nearly 150 individual properties are designated as landmarks in the City of Minneapolis. In addition, there are twelve locally designated historic districts in Minneapolis. Properties include churches, workers’ cottages, mansions, bridges, warehouses, and commercial blocks, among others. Landmark and district designation have many potential benefits for the community: improved public profile, heightened local pride, increased property values, attraction of new business and residential investment, and preservation of the area’s unique character and heritage.
What does designation mean?
Designation is a form of protection for significant properties and districts. Many of the City’s designated properties are buildings, but there are also bridges, landscapes, streets and more. Once designated for heritage preservation, a property cannot be modified or removed without review by CPED and the HPC. However, designation does not mean freezing a building in time. Many projects throughout the City demonstrate the commitment of the local government and the private sector to "adaptively reuse" old buildings and find new uses that enable historic building to remain a part of the city’s living history.
An extensive network of preservation agencies at the national, state and local levels coordinates public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our cultural and historic resources.
- The Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) was formed in 1972 to serve as a citizen advisory body to the Minneapolis City Council. The HPC is part of a nation-wide network of groups dedicated to the preservation and celebration of our local and national heritage. The Commission holds public hearings on matters related to preservation twice each month. These meetings are specifically held in so that the commission can hear from the public on matters related to heritage preservation. The public is welcome to attend and highly encouraged to participate. The Heritage Preservation Commission Roster (pdf).
- The Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development Department (CPED) provides preservation-related services to within Minneapolis local government. These services include professional review for permit applications, long-term planning, and education and outreach efforts. On small projects that include minor alterations, CPED staff is authorized to conduct historic reviews administratively. On larger projects that include major changes to a designated property, CPED staff conducts reviews and prepares recommendations that are delivered at public hearings before the HPC.
- National Register properties are overseen by the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). The National Register of Historic Places was created to catalog and protect properties worthy of preservation because of their significance to our nation’s history, architecture, landscape, archeology, engineering, and/or culture.
What does CPED and the HPC do?
- Evaluates the historical significance of buildings and districts.
- Recommends buildings or districts to the City Council for designation as local landmarks.
- Reviews all building, demolition, moving, and sign permits for designated buildings and districts.
- Prepares and administers design guidelines for reviewing repair, rehabilitation, new construction and demolition requests within historic districts.
- Conducts on-going research of eligible sites and districts.
- Provides public education and community outreach programs
- Collaborates on the integration of historic preservation with city planning and development activities.
Where can I get more information?
There are two ways to get more information:
- Phone information is available by calling 3-1-1 in Minneapolis. If you’re calling outside Minneapolis, please dial (612) 673-3000.
- Walk-in consultation is available at the Minneapolis Development Review Counter, 250 South 4 th Street, Minneapolis, Room 300. Preservation staff is available at the MDR counter Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Customers requiring services must sign-in by 3:30 p.m. For more details, see the Minneapolis Development Review website
Heritage Preservation Studies
Lowry Hill East Residential Historic District Draft Designation Study: The City of Minneapolis seeks public input on the draft Lowry Hill East Residential Historic District design guidelines available online here. Please submit comments to John Smoley via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org ) or U.S. Mail (John Smoley, 250 4th ST S, PSC 300, Minneapolis, MN 55415) before July 2, 2015.
Meeting Agendas and Actions
Heritage Landmarks and Districts Website
The Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission and Minneapolis CPED are excited to announce the launch of a new website that will serve as an interactive database for discovering and researching locally historic landmarks and districts in Minneapolis. Profiles for each landmark and district include historic and recent photographs, key facts such as architects, styles, and the year of construction, as well as a brief paragraph describing each landmarks unique contribution to Minneapolis history. Check it out at Minneapolis Landmarks & Historic Districts!
Last updated Jul 29, 2015