July Tours

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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 tours@preserveminneapolis.org 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. 

SOLD OUT! The Modern Development of Downtown Minneapolis

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 5:30 PM
Guides: Elizabeth Gales, Todd Grover

Starting point: Minneapolis Central Library, at 300 Nicollet MallThe Modern Development of Downtown Minneapolis Walking Tour
Cost: $8


Products of the “urban renewal” movement of the 1950s-1970s, the Modern buildings and landscapes in downtown Minneapolis tell the story of the city’s struggles—and successes—in reinventing itself after World War II. This tour will focus on the development of the city during these years, the preservation challenges many of these modern masterpieces face, and the recent building revival of the Central Business District and its impact on Modern buildings and landscapes.

This tour will walk about 1.5 miles.

SOLD OUT! South Lake Harriet Parks and Homes

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 6:30 PM
Guides: Peter Sussman

Starting point: Lake Harriet Parkway and Morgan Avenue South (south side of the Lake Harriet)South Lake Harriet Parks and Homes Walking Tour
Cost: $8

Early Lake Harriet-area resident Peter Sutherland watched as the Park Board encircled the lake with a public boulevard in 1885-86. The grand park he had envisioned for his property would give way instead, decades later, to a busy and dense neighborhood. Hear about this fascinating history and view an eclectic assortment of lakeside and inland houses between Penn and Knox Avenues built from the early to late 20th century. Co-sponsored by the Linden Hills History Study Group and the Lynnhurst Neighborhood Association.

This tour will walk about 1 mile and is not ADA-accessible.

Historic Old Highland

Where: Sunday, July 14, 2013 at 1:00 PM
Guides: Brian Bushay and Alissa Pier

Starting point: Church of the Ascension at 1723 Bryant Ave N
Cost: $8
Buy tickets on Eventbrite

Encompassing 30 blocks of north Minneapolis, this Victorian-era enclave was largely developed at the turn of the century, when architects designed residences for well-to-do merchants operating businesses along its main thoroughfares. Middle-class migration to newer suburbs, combined with absentee landlords, put the neighborhood on the decline by the 1970s, but residents have developed a neighborhood association and a tight-knit community in response.

SOLD OUT! Grain Belt Brewery

When: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 5:30 PM
Guide: RSP Architects

Starting point: 1220 Marshall St NE Grain Belt Brewery Walking Tour
Cost: $8

The Grain Belt Brew House, constructed in 1891, served as a local brewery until Christmas Day of 1975, when it was permanently vacated. In 1998 RSP Architects, Ryan Companies, and the Minneapolis Community Development Agency embraced the opportunity to make creative use of this historic landmark. See how the restoration’s innovative designs utilize the unique interior and allow for preservation of the building’s distinctive architectural features.

Milwaukee Avenue Historic District

When: Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 1:00 PM
Guide: Bob Roscoe

Starting point: Hoffman Guitars, at 2219 East Franklin Avenue
Cost: $8
Buy tickets on EventbriteA Short Walk: Milwaukee Avenue Historic District Walking...

Milwaukee Avenue is the earliest example of a planned workers’ community in Minneapolis. Built between 1883-1895, the area attracted immigrants who worked for the nearby Milwaukee Railroad and other industries. In the early 1970s, the City of Minneapolis housing authority planned to raze 70 percent of the houses in a 35-block area for urban renewal. To fight this effort, neighbors formed the Seward West Project Committee and created a development plan that emphasized historic preservation.

This tour will walk 2 city blocks.

SOLD OUT! Minneapolis Madams: The Lost History of Prostitution Biking Tour

When: Sunday, July 21, 2013 at 1:00 PM
Guide: Penny Petersen 

Starting point: Across the street from 212 Eleventh Avenue South (near Gold Medal Park)
Cost: $8Minneapolis Madams: The Lost History of Prostitution Biking...
PLEASE NOTE that this is a biking tour, limited to 20 riders. This tour is for ages 21 and up.

This bicycle tour will explore the three openly-operated red-light districts that existed from the 1870s to 1910 along the central riverfront of Minneapolis. You’ll learn why tolerated prostitution was such a thriving industry in the city, why some women might have chosen it as a career, how a small group of madams came to influence civic life, and how they left their mark on the city’s landscape, as we view the last surviving purpose-built bordello from the city’s era of tolerated prostitution.

This tour will bike about 5 miles.

The Warehouse District

When: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 7:00 PMWarehouse District Walking Tour
Guide: Rolf Anderson

Starting point: Edina Realty Office at 226 North Washington Avenue
Cost: $8
Buy tickets on Eventbrite

The North Loop Warehouse District was the city’s warehouse and wholesaling district during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, growing when Minneapolis became a major distribution center for the upper Midwest. The area has retained its sense of time and place, with original bridges still in place, streets paved with bricks, and trains passing through daily on the track beds around which the area first developed. The tour will explore the overall history of the district, and individual buildings and the architects who designed them.

This tour will walk less than one mile.

SOLD OUT Church Week: Hennepin Avenue Methodist

When: Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 4:00 PM
Guide: Edward KodetChurch Week: Hennepin Ave. Methodist Walking Tour (NEW TOUR)

Starting point: Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church at 511 Groveland Ave
Cost: $8

Founded in 1875, Hennepin Avenue Methodist has long been an imposing landmark, even along church-heavy Hennepin Avenue. We will explore the historic architecture of the church, including the era of its construction and what architectural influences made their way into the church’s structures. The last century has brought a number of changes, and we’ll look at these in the context of historic preservation and the techniques and strategies currently in use. The details of the church will come alive, including the stained glass, lighting, and acoustics that make it such a special place.

Church Week: The Basilica of St. Mary

When: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 6:30 PM
Guide: Chuck Liddy and Johan van Parys

Starting point: Basilica Front Portico, at 88 17th Street North Church Week: The Basilica of St. Mary
Cost: $8
Buy tickets on Eventbrite

The first United States cathedral to be designated a “Basilica,” this historic building annually draws tens of thousands of visitors from around the world, and is truly a living landmark. From the 1960s through the 1980s, freeway construction and demographic changes reduced the number of parishioners attending the Basilica, and the building experienced a corresponding decline. Since 1991 there have been over 20 projects to stabilize, preserve, and restore the facilities. Johan van Parys will discuss the history of the church and the significant liturgical arts incorporated into its design over the years. Chuck Liddy will discuss recent and upcoming projects and challenges still to be overcome.


More tours: May Tours  |  June Tours   |  August Tours  |  September Tours