Seeing the legacy of streetcars in commercial buildings

1913 streetcar map.jpg

LOCATION

 

CLIENT

CONSTRUCTED

PROJECT DATE

PROJECT SCOPE

PROJECT SIZE

Minneapolis, MN

City of Minneapolis

1875-1954

2019-2020

Historical research, historic context study, intensive-level architectural-history survey

182 properties

SCS conductors SQ.jpg
SCS construction SQ.jpg

A historic context study and architectural-history survey support preservation planning in Minneapolis.

CHALLENGE

In 2018, the City of Minneapolis received a Certified Local Government (CLG) grant from the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to develop a historic context about streetcar commercial development, and to complete an intensive-level thematic survey of 182 commercial buildings located along four historic Minneapolis streetcar routes. The purpose of the project was to understand whether any of the city’s streetcar commercial corridors were eligible for local designation and/or listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

 

SUCCESS

New History completed a historic context study that explored the relationship between Minneapolis’s streetcar system and commercial development, and tested the context findings with an intensive-level survey of buildings in four commercial corridors. New History also collaborated with data scientists and urban planners at Visible City to produce unique graphic representations of the historical development of the City’s buildings and streetcar network. Finally, New History provided recommendations on the eligibility of surveyed buildings for local designation and NRHP listing, enabling a thoughtful response to redevelopment pressure and supporting responsible stewardship of the community’s historic resources. Results of the context study were presented at the 8th National Historic Preservation Policy Forum and the annual conference of the Association for Preservation Technology (APT).