Concrete Block Rowhouses
Address: 300-314 ½ 26 th Avenue North
Construction Date: 1885
Contractor: Union Stone & Building Company
Architect: W.D. Kimball
Architectural Style: Concrete Block
Historic Use: Private Residences
Current Use: Private Residences
Date of Local Designation: 1984
Date of National Designation: N/A
Area of Significance: Architecture, Invention
Period of Significance: 1880-1899, 1900-
Historic Profile: In 1885, real estate entrepreneur, William N. Holway, formed the Union Stone and Building Company in Minneapolis. Their largest contribution to the city was a cluster of concrete block houses and rowhouses on the north-side of Minneapolis between 3 rd and 4 th Streets and 26 th Avenue North. Eight houses as well as an eleven unit rowhouse remain as examples of the very early use of concrete blocks as an artistic architectural material. In her article, "Early Development of the Artistic Concrete Block," Ann Gillespie states that the introduction of pre-cast concrete into North America occurred in the late 1860s. Even though the new building material offered the advantages of being easily formed to resemble natural stone at a considerably lower price, the widespread use of concrete blocks in residential structures was never widely embraced. The community developed by William Holway is an exception. Although the buildings were designed by individual architects, they all share similar stylistic elements -- two and one half stories featuring side hall plans rectangular fenestration and roofs of multi-gable variety with ornamented primary façade dormers. All of the houses, with the exception of one, have retained their original concrete exteriors and merit their historic status.
Description: Two-story rowhouse; cast concrete block construction; originally designed as eleven units which wrap around corner forming ell shaped plan.
1936, courtesy of Marjorie Benson
2006, Minneapolis CPED
City of Minneapolis, "National Register of Historic Places – Nomination Form," February 1982.
Updated: February 2007
Last updated Nov 21, 2011