Old Walker Branch Library

Individual Landmark

 

 Hennepin_Ave_2901_Old_Walker_Library-1
1930

 Hennepin_Ave_2901_Old_Walker_Library-2
2006

Address: 2901 Hennepin Avenue

Neighborhood: East Isles

Construction Year: 1911

Contractor: Unknown

Architect: Jerome Paul Jackson

Architectural Style: Beaux-Arts

Historic Use: Public - library branch

Current Use: Commercial - Retail

Date of Local Designation: 1997

Date of National Register Designation: 2000

Area(s) of Significance: Social History, Historic Person

Period of Significance: 1911-1981

Historic Profile: When the Walker Branch of the Minneapolis Public Libraries opened in 1911, the Hennepin/Lake commercial corridor was sparsely developed. T.B. Walker, President of the Library Board, donated the property situated at the end of the Mall Boulevard to help establish the importance of libraries in developing communities. Walker’s donations assisted Gratia Countryman, the first female chief librarian in Minneapolis, in fulfilling her mission of expanding the library system and bringing books closer to people. The opening of the Walker Library coincided with the expansion of a streetcar line on Lake Street, bringing customers and library patrons to the area. Minneapolis architect Jerome Paul Jackson, who later designed Seven Corners and East Lake libraries, chose a stately NeoClassical design for the Walker. The entrance portico, framed by Ionic sandstone columns, masterfully displays Beaux-Arts characteristics. The popularity of the Walker Library Branch continued to grow, forcing the library to relocate in 1981.

Photo Credits:

1930, courtesy of Minneapolis Public Libraries

2006, Minneapolis CPED

Works Cited:

Landscape Research, "City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Registration Form," May 1996.

Updated: February 2007

Last updated Nov. 21, 2011