MINNEAPOLIS' MODERN ERA
Mid-century modern comes of age
City of Minneapolis
2019 - 2020
Historical research, writing of historic context, reconnaissance-level architectural survey
A much-needed historic context provides the framework for evaluating midcentury buildings in Minneapolis.
The preservation of the recent past is increasingly at the forefront of preservation planning in the United States. As buildings from the mid- to late twentieth century age, there is a need for information that will help identify these "Modern Era" resources and evaluate their potential historic significance. In 2019, the City of Minneapolis received a grant from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund ("Legacy Grant") to develop such a framework, known as a "historic context," for its Modern Era resources. This context explains the development of the built environment of the entire city over nearly five decades of history.
New History developed a 328-page historic context study that serves as an analytical framework for identifying and evaluating Minneapolis resources associated with the Modern Era. Additionally, New History completed a reconnaissance-level architecture survey to evaluate dozens of properties for potential local and/or national historic designation. The context study is organized around key themes - such as Business and Industry; Urban Renewal; Residential Development; Arts, Culture and Recreation; and Architecture - and integrates graphics developed by our project partners and data scientists at Visible City. Both thorough and wide-ranging, the context has the potential to inspire greater understanding and appreciation of Modern Era history and architecture at the local and statewide levels.