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Happy Hour with a Preservationist: SE Library

  • Southeast Library (map)

Join us for a (free!) Happy Hour With a Preservationist at this Modern masterpiece! 

Ralph Rapson’s State Capitol Credit Union, which soon became the Southeast Branch Library, is an extremely important building in the Rapson legacy. The 18,000 square-foot library is mostly located underground, with subterranean meeting rooms, storage rooms, and offices. However, the crisp design of public spaces above—dominated by the concrete waffle-slab roof, cruciform columns, glass, and brick—steal the show.

The Credit Union was completed in 1963 but with Rapson’s guidance, soon converted to the branch library in 1967. Recently there has been some concern about the building due to development pressures in Dinkytown andthe reduced library hours. In late 2014, the Humphrey School of Public Affairs produced a report for Hennepin County to determine the best use of this site. But with pressure from the Marcy-Homes and Como neighborhoods, the use has not changed . . . so far. 

During this HHWAP, we will learn a little more about the history, development, and design of the building. We will also delve deeper into the pressures that are placed on this site and discuss some of the next steps to save this very important piece of the Rapson legacy and Dinkytown.

We will meet at the front door of the library for a short presentation followed by a tour of the first floor. Afterwards we will stroll over to Dinkytown to see the newest Historic District in Minneapolis and visit a local establishment for discussion and a drink.