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Red Cedar Lane and Environs Walking Tour

  • Lake Harriet Spiritual Community 4401 South Upton Avenue Minneapolis, MN, 55410 United States (map)

Red Cedar Lane, once chosen as the “Best street in the Twin Cities” by Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, is a beautiful secret — easily missed as you drive by its narrow intersection with Upton Avenue near Minnehaha Creek in South Minneapolis.

The street is part of an area that was laid out beginning in 1904 by John Jager. Jager planted rows of (you guessed it!) 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 with built-in North Woods “perfume.” On and near Red Cedar Lane you’ll see Jager’s own house and several houses designed by Jager’s best friend, William Gray Purcell, in association with Frederick Strauel. In the early 20th century, Purcell, his partner George Elmslie, and their draftsman Strauel had offices in Minneapolis where they designed Prairie School buildings that still stand throughout the U.S. The tour begins at the Lake Harriet Spiritual Community, 4401 S Upton Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55410, where there will be a 20-minute slide lecture to introduce these men and their architecture. From there, attendees will drive a few blocks to the corner of Red Cedar Lane and Upton Ave. So., where the walking tour begins.

The tour walks about one mile. The walking tour is ADA accessible; however the short lecture before it is not.

Tour guide Richard L. Kronick is a freelance writer who specializes in architecture and engineering. He teaches architectural history and has led more than 50 architecture tours for the College of Continuing Education at the U of M, Elk River Schools, and other organizations. John Jager and Purcell & Elmslie have been major focuses of Richard’s research for decades.

Click here to register for this tour.