Positioning a local historic district for sensitive redevelopment
CA SMITH LUMBER DISTRICT
Industrial areas present challenges for both heritage preservation and reuse.
Challenge:The C.A. Smith and Mereen Johnson complexes at 44th and Lyndale Avenues North retain some of the few historic industrial and office buildings remaining in this neighborhood. Redevelopment of this area has been slow but critical to the vitality of North Minneapolis. After several adjacent parcels were nominated for local designation, New History conducted historical research and worked with city planning staff to understand the history of the sites.
Success: As a result of this research, which uncovered a long and symbiotic relationship between the C.A. Smith Lumber Company and Mereen-Johnson Machine Company, the parcels were nominated for designation as a local historic district and New History worked with planning staff to develop local design guidelines to promote reuse of the historic resources within the district, including new construction, contemporary design for preservation, and adaptive reuse.