Old East Lake Library Branch
Address: 2916 Lake Street East
Architect: Jerome Paul Jackson
Architectural Style: Utilitarian
Historic Use: Public - Library Branch
Current Use: Commercial - Retail
Date of Local Designation: 1997
Date of National Register Designation: N/A
Area(s) of Significance: Social History; Significant Person
Period of Significance: 1924-1976
Historic Profile: In the years Minneapolis struggled to accommodate new immigrant populations, the East Lake branch of the Minneapolis Public Library system played an important role as a neighborhood and educational center. East Lake was one of thirteen branches established under the leadership of Gratia Countryman, the Chief Librarian from 1904 to 1936. Noted as the first woman librarian responsible for a system the size of that of Minneapolis, Countryman’s mission was to bring people closer to books. Designed by Jerome Paul Jackson, who was also responsible for the Walker and Seven Corners branches, the East Lake Branch was utilitarian in style, lacking ornamentation. The East Lake Branch served the community for approximately fifty years, until a new structure opened in 1976 at 2727 East Lake Street. By that time, the Lake Street Corridor had experienced significant decline, as suburban shopping malls drew patrons with free parking spaces and broader selection. The former East Lake Branch was sold and now houses a retail outlet.
1924, Charles J. Hibbard, courtesy of The Minnesota Historical Society
2006, Minneapolis CPED
Landscape Research, "City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission Registration Form," May 1996.
Updated: February 2007
Last updated Nov. 21, 2011