August Tours

More tours:  June Tours  |  July Tours   |  September Tours

Cost: $8 per person unless otherwise noted  please note that tours will likely sell out in advance, with no room for walk-ups.
Please note that space is limited and some events may sell out before the day of the event.
If you lack internet access, or have any questions or concerns about the tour program, please contact our Tour Coordinater, Katy Epler, at or 612-695-7572.
Time: Tours typically last 90 minutes to 2 hours. Exact times are contingent on factors such as weather and group size. Please contact us if you have any questions about lengths of specific tours, or ask your guide at the beginning of the tour.
Distance/terrain: Please see details listed for each tour. Some tours are short and flat, others are longer and hilly.
Kids (and strollers) are welcome, but no dogs or other pets, please.


Bryant and Pleasant Avenues Biking Tour (Sold Out!)

When: Monday, August 4 at 6:30 p.m
Cost: $8
Click here to get on the waiting list.

Tour guide Tom Balcom will lead us through an exploration of south Minneapolis growth and development by traversing several neighborhoods by bike. As we explore the evolving residential and commercial architecture of the late 19th and early 20th century along Bryant and Pleasant Avenues, we’ll learn how and why some of the individual historic homes and blocks in this neighborhood are threatened with demolition and replacement by new, high-density housing.

A highlight of the tour will be a single stretch along Pleasant Avenue, where we’ll see the evolution of south Minneapolis homes from 1880s Victorian to 1920s revival styles…including the tour guide’s favorite block of single-family homes in Minneapolis.

This tour bikes about 8 miles.

Tangletown and Minnehaha Creek Walking Tour (SOLD OUT)

When: Wednesday, August 13 at 6:30 p.m. 
Cost: $8
Get on the waitlist

Explore the winding streets, impressive homes, and creek environment of the neighborhood originally known as Washburn Park. Learn about landmark sites such as the Washburn Water Tower, the Harry Wild Jones House, Washburn Memorial Orphan Asylum (where Ramsey Middle School now stands), and the Minnehaha Creek, parkway, bridges, woods, and trails.

This tour will walk about 1.5 miles and is not ADA-accessible. The tour guide is Tom Balcom.

Red Cedar Lane (SOLD OUT)

When: Saturday, August 16th at 10 a.m.
Cost: $8
Get on the waitlist

Red Cedar Lane, once chosen as the “best street in the Twin Cities” by Mpls. St. Paul magazine, is a beautiful secret.The street is part of an area that was laid out beginning in 1904 by John Jager. Jager planted rows of red cedars on both sides of Red Cedar Lane; they now form a luxuriant canopy over the short, narrow, cul-de-sac street, making it feel like an outdoor room.

On and near Red Cedar Lane you’ll see Jager’s own house and several houses designed by his best friend William Gray Purcell, in association with draftsman Frederick Strauel. In the early 20th century, Purcell, his partner George Elmslie, and Strauel had offices in Minneapolis where they designed Prairie School buildings that still stand throughout the U.S. The tour will start with a brief slide lecture to introduce these men and their architecture.

This tour will walk about 10 blocks, with a natural break in the middle where participants can break off, or continue on. The tour guide is Richard Kronick.

Hennepin Avenue Theater District Walking Tour (SOLD OUT!)

When: Saturday, August 16 at 1 p.m.
Cost: $8
This tour is old out, but click here to get on the waitlist 

Experienced guides lead you in exploring the elegant interiors of the State, Orpheum, and Pantages theaters—the dressing rooms and backstage corridors not typically open to the public. We’ll highlight architecture and historical facts and stories, and describe the city’s theater restoration efforts along “Theater Row.”

This tour will walk about 5 city blocks. The tour guides are Christopher Yaeger and John Smoley.


Architect Avenue (Sold Out!)

When: Tuesday, August 19 at 6;30 p.m.
Cost: $8
Buy tickets on Eventbrite 

In 1905, a contest was held in one of the farthest corners of Hennepin County for well-designed homes for the up-and-coming middle class. Major Twin Cities architects were solicited to develop affordable homes, which would combine “luxury, elegance, utility, and comfort”…and each had to cost $3,000 or less (including landscaping and sidewalk). Twelve local architects submitted designs; six were chosen and built. This mini-development became “Architect Avenue,” developed and promoted by Thomas Lowry, and all six of these unique and original homes still exist.

This tour walks about 3/4 of a mile; the tour guide is Kathy Kullberg.


West 49th Street: Geography and Architecture (SOLD OUT!)

Sunday, August 24, 1 p.m.
Cost: $8
This tour is sold out, but click here to get on the waitlist.

Today, the four blocks of West 49th Street between Knox and Oliver Avenues in Southwest Minneapolis seems like just another Minneapolis neighborhood. But when they were built, these homes were unique in the way they used the mildly sloping topography of the neighborhood to actually help create the progressive residential architecture that was starting to emerge in the Upper Midwest.

Homeowners, architects, and builders used variations of Prairie Style, Arts and Crafts, and Tudor, Colonial, and Classical Revivals to adapt to the local terrain and regional climate. These houses became prototypes for the later, more prominent “high style” homes in the remarkable residential districts surrounding the Chain of Lakes (Harriet, Calhoun, Isles, Cedar, and Brownie). And eventually, these styles appeared throughout many neighborhoods of Minneapolis.

This tour walks about 2/3 of a mile; the tour guide is Bob Roscoe.

Uncovering Urban History: Cedar-Riverside (SOLD OUT)

When: Tuesday, August 26 at 6 p.m.
Cost: $8
This tour is sold out, but click here to get on the waitlist

Many of us know the massive high-rise apartment complex with multi-colored panels in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood by sight. But what’s the real story behind Riverside Plaza? Designed by famed architect Ralph Rapson, the building was originally intended to be part of a much bigger utopian design.

Why there, why then? This tour will discuss the fascinating history about this complex and its significance in the urban landscape. In addition, it will examine the hidden “plaza-within-the-plaza” located in the area.

Following our exploration of Riverside Plaza, we’ll take a walk down Cedar Avenue and get more in-depth in the neighborhood, the buildings, and the businesses that populate this commercial stretch.

This tour walks about 3 blocks; the tour guide is Aubrie Eisenhart.

More tours: June Tours  |  July Tours  |  September Tours