Guided tours explore historic and architecturally significant local sites

Preserve Minneapolis’ 2013 tour series offers an opportunity to explore historic and architecturally significant places in Minneapolis. On each tour, guides will tell the “stories behind the story” and give participants a greater understanding of what makes each area unique.

Tour destinations range from the Grain Belt Brewery to Pioneer and Soldiers Cemetery, from the mansion district of Park Avenue to northside synagogues, and from the Milwaukee Avenue Historic District to the lost Gateway District.

Here are the tours slated for the coming months. For information on the meeting place or to register, visit

Remaining 2013 Preserve Minneapolis Tours

Please note: many of these tours may be filled.

The Architectural Necklace: Homes Along Lake of the Isles
Saturday, Aug. 10
1 p.m.

The winding eastern shoreline of Lake of the Isles displays some of Minneapolis’ most splendid residential architecture, exemplifying design talents of several of the region’s influential architects and influencing both Minneapolis’ social patterns and its architectural patterns. Early 20th-century residences by Edwin Lundie, William Kenyon, and Purcell and Elmslie rest alongside the later-to-come Liebenberg and Kaplan. This tour walks approximately 10 blocks.

North Side Synagogues and Neighborhood
Sunday, Aug. 18
10 a.m.

By 1936, there were more than 16,000 Jews in Minneapolis, and 70 percent of them lived on the North Side. Community members lived, learned, prayed, and shopped together. The tour will highlight the history and architecture of the gathering places of north Minneapolis’ Jewish community in the early- and mid-20th century, including a neighborhood with three synagogues, the Emmanuel Cohen Community Center, and the Jewish Shelter Home for Children.

Fort Snelling Upper Post
Tuesday, Aug. 20
6:30 p.m.

Fort Snelling is often called the “Birthplace of Minnesota.” Built between 1820 and 1825, the fort stood empty from 1858-1861 but was pressed back into service during the Civil War and also served as a staging point for military campaigns against Indian tribes. After World War II, the fort was decommissioned and turned over to the Veterans Administration. This tour walks the equivalent of about 4-5 city blocks.

Historic Park Avenue Part I: The Mansion District - Age of Opulence Along the Minneapolis Golden Mile
Tuesday, Aug. 27
6 p.m.

At the turn of the last century Park Avenue ranked as one of Minneapolis’s most prestigious residential streets. The city’s elite commissioned top architects to design 35 of the city’s most opulent mansions along the 10-block“Golden Mile” between 18th and 28th Streets. By the end of the 1960s, “urban renewal” in the form of demolition had claimed 27 of them. Experience the remaining eight mansions up close — including some interiors — and view photographs of those that were lost. This tour will walk about 10-12 city blocks.

Historic Park Avenue Part II: The Southern District - Queen Annes, Classical Revivals, and Stories of Their People
Tuesday, Sept. 3
6 p.m.

While the architectural landscape of Park Avenue’s Mansion District has changed dramatically, the 10 blocks south of 28th Street remain remarkably intact with their original, architect-designed residences built for upper-middle-class professionals at the turn of the last century. Step back in time to discover the differences between architectural styles, hear stories of its first families, and see how this stretch of Park Avenue is being rediscovered. This tour will walk about 10-12 city blocks.

Murder & Mayhem; Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery
Saturday, Sept. 7
1 p.m.

If you think of the past as the “good old days,” you’ll want to think again. Come walk through the seamier side of Minneapolis’ history at Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery. The tour will stop and pay their respects (or not!) to a host of folks, both casualties and criminals, who most definitely did not die peacefully in their sleep. This tour will walk 5-6 blocks over uneven terrain.

27th & Lake: Industry and Transit
Sunday, Sept. 15
1 p.m.

In 1886, the streetcar line reached Lake Street along 27th Avenue, and though “Lake Street was a rutted path and the cows outnumbered the people,” the area grew rapidly. This tour centers on the historic industrial complex at Minnehaha & Lake, which for nearly 100 years produced farm implements under the names of Minneapolis Harvester Works and Minneapolis Moline, the ever-evolving transportation system at Hiawatha and Lake, and the community that grew up around these two intersections. This tour will walk about 25 blocks.



Published Aug 7, 2013



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