CA SMITH LUMBER DISTRICT
Positioning a local historic district for sensitive redevelopment
"Thanks for taking on tough challenges in parts of the market where other firms steer clear. New History has added great value to the City of Minneapolis, and for that we are truly appreciative."
- Jack Byers, Former City of Minneapolis Manager of Community Planning
City of Minneapolis
Historical research, designation study, historic district design guidelines
Industrial areas present challenges for both heritage preservation and reuse.
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.
Research uncovered a long and symbiotic relationship between the CA Smith Lumber Co. and Mereen-Johnson Machine Co. The parcels were nominated for local historic district designation to promote economic development. New History worked with city planning staff to develop local design guidelines to promote reuse of the historic resources, recognizing that industrial buildings and areas require design flexibility to meet users needs and today's building codes.