Summer Walking Tour Series

Summer in Minneapolis means one thing: touring historic neighborhoods!  Preserve Minneapolis has launched another tour season, running from June through September. We encourage you to check the listings as we recently added a few more tours to the line up. The 2017 season includes new tours like:

  • Half-Built Minneapolis
  • Behind the scenes at the Basilica
  • Prince’s early homes and neighborhoods
  • The neighborhood theaters of the Uptown area

We’ll also re-visit some old favorites, like the Warehouse District, Old Highland, Nicollet Island, and Park Avenue.

A highlight of this year will be a tour that had its debut last year: “Black History and Its Influence on the East 38th Street Community.” In 2016, this tour filled up so fast last year that many did not get to take part. We’re happy to say that East 38th Street is back this year!

The East 38th Street tour will visit spots like the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder building (now designated a Minnesota historic landmark). The Spokesman-Recorder, the oldest Black-owned business in Minnesota, is a family-run newspaper that launched in August 1934. Its CEO/Publisher, Tracey Williams-Dillard, is the granddaughter of the newspaper’s founder, Cecil E. Newman.

The tour will also visit the home of Lena Olive Smith (the first Black female lawyer in Minnesota); Sabathani Community Center, Prince’s junior high (now a thriving non-profit serving the local community); and the Nacirema Club (come see it to find out more).

Perhaps most interesting of all is the neighborhood’s preponderance of Tilsenbilt homes. This group of over 50 homes just south of the East 38th Street corridor was built in the 1950s with the help of local Black realtor and philanthropist Archie Givens, Sr. These homes were built to battle the discriminatory housing practices and restrictive deed covenants common in Minneapolis at the time. As recently as the 1950s, banks and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) refused to provide mortgages to Black families outside of established Black neighborhoods. This neighborhood’s Tilsenbilt homes are believed to be the first federally-supported residential housing development in the United States that was open to homebuyers of all races.

Join us for this fascinating tour, as well as a number of other tours recently added to the schedule. See you this summer!