Frank E. Little Mansion in Minneapolis

Frank E. Little was a partner in a Minneapolis-based real estate firm. He didn’t leave behind much of a legacy in the city he called home, but this architectural rendering of his mansion near Loring Park proves that he did alright for himself. Little’s home was located at 1414 Harmon Place—about halfway between Spruce and Willow. Built in 1889, the home was designed by...

Historic Mendota Gallery

I had some free time last weekend so I decided to venture down to historic Mendota. You may remember my photos this summer from the Sibley Historic Site, but there are a few other places nearby that I wanted to see. I stopped at the Sibley and Faribault houses first, then spent some time at the historic St. Peter’s Church, and finally walked through...

Prehistoric Minnesota Woman

As construction workers were excavating a roadway along the eastern shore of Prairie Lake near Pelican Rapids in 1931, they uncovered one of the most exciting prehistoric finds in this region of North America—a human skeleton. The remains were found nine feet below the surface and encased in fine layers of clay which had once been the bottom of a lake that predated glacial...

Finding the Extraordinary in University Grove

University Grove is an eclectic jumble of 20th-century homes situated on tree-lined streets in a secluded area near the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota. The 103 architect-designed homes are virtually all owned by University of Minnesota faculty and administrators. Considered by many to be an architectural time capsule, the Grove evolved from a couple of blocks of English Tudor and Colonial...

Terrace Theatre in Robbinsdale

Located in Robbinsdale, the international-style Terrace Theatre opened on May 23, 1951. At the time, it was one of the most luxurious and modern theaters in the country.The lobby was an ultramodern gem with large windows, metallic fixtures, and a sunken den complete with fireplace. A television lounge and nursery rooms for mothers with children were also available. Inside the theater, customers were treated to...

The Young-Quinlan Housewarming

It was on this day ninety years ago that the doors to the Elizabeth C. Quinlan building in Minneapolis first opened its doors. It was the new home of the Young-Quinlan department store. The building was designed by residential architect Frederick L. Ackerman from New York to be a  “beautiful home” for customers to shop in. In fact, the grand opening of the building...

Fred D. Young of the Young-Quinlan Company

While many people recognize the name Elizabeth Quinlan because of her public role and decades of leadership at the Young-Quinlan Company, few know about Fred Young. Frederick Dean Young was born in Freeport, Illinois in 1862. By the time he was thirty years old, Young was living in Minneapolis with is mother and brother and one of the top salespeople at Goodfellow and Eastman...

Elizabeth C. Quinlan Building: The Ramp

This week marks the 90th anniversary of the opening of the Elizabeth C. Quinlan building in downtown Minneapolis. The building at 901 Nicollet was home to the Young-Quinlan Department Store. I’ll be sharing interesting tidbits about the building, the store, Elizabeth Quinlan, and Fred Young all week. First up: The Ramp. Even before the Elizabeth C. Quinlan building opened in 1926, word began to...

Sibley Historic Site in Mendota

Over Memorial Day weekend, I was lucky enough to attend the pre-grand opening of the Sibley Historic Site in Mendota with several of my DAR friends. After a brief reception, we were given a private tour of the buildings at the site while reenactors from the fur trade era set up tents and replicas of a birchbark canoe and bateau on the lawn. The...

The Gates of Stonebridge

In 1907, St. Paul businessman and inventor Oliver Crosby purchased twenty-eight acres of land on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in St. Paul. There, he built a twenty thousand square foot brick estate that he called Stonebridge. In his book Once There Were Castles, author Larry Millett claims that Stonebridge was “the greatest estate ever built in St. Paul.” The house was remarkable,...

Duluth’s Incline Railway

Last fall I was able to cross a few stops in Duluth’s west end off of my to-do list. I wanted to walk the path that once ran alongside the Incline Railway for several years, but it always got pushed down on my list because I haven’t spent a lot of them in this part of town. I decided to park along Skyline Parkway...

Japanese Garden at Normandale Community College

Earlier this week I visited the Japanese Garden at Normandale Community College in Bloomington. The garden is only two acres in size, but there is plenty of room for quiet contemplation. It was designed by Tokyo-based garden architect Takao Watanabe and dedicated in 1976. Visitors enter through a cedar gate and are greeted by the sound of a waterfall in the distance. The more...

Interstate Bridge in Duluth

Before the Interstate Bridge was built between Duluth and Superior in the late-1890s, the only way to get between the two cities was by ferry. Of course, ice often prevented the ferry from crossing in the winter. In 1894, the Duluth-Superior Bridge Company was incorporated with the purpose of building a bridge that connected Connors Point in Wisconsin to Rice’s Point in Minnesota. Disagreements...

Rainy Lake Gold Rush

When people think of the gold rush, they think of California, but Minnesota had its own gold rush. With stories of people striking it rich in California spreading east, even the slightest hint of gold elsewhere in the country would spark a new frenzy. When a vein of gold-laden quartz was found amid the forests and lakes of Minnesota – the hunt was on....

Upper Post of Fort Snelling: Dead House / Morgue

The yellow brick morgue was originally built in 1904. It was used to store bodies of deceased military personnel from the post during the months when the ground was too frozen to bury them. An addition to the morgue in 1933 more than doubled the square footage. The need for additional housing in 1938 caused the morgue to be revamped into living quarters for...