The Minneapolis Warehouse Historic District is the state's largest commercial district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Spread over a 30 block area, the district includes 140 buildings and structures. The district is historically important as an area of early commercial growth during the development of the city of Minneapolis and as the city's warehouse and wholesaling district that expanded during the late 19th and early 20th centuries when Minneapolis became a major distribution center in the upper Midwest. Wholesalers were attracted to the area northwest of the downtown business district where land values were relatively low and railroad lines nearby. The leading wholesale lines included groceries, fruits and produce, hardware, dry goods, glassware, and most importantly, agricultural implements.
The district is also architecturally significant for its remarkably intact concentration of commercial buildings designed by the city's leading architects including Cass Gilbert, Long and Long, Harry Wild Jones, Kees and Colburn, and Hewitt and Brown. Stylistically, the buildings represent every major style from the period including Italianate, Queen Anne, Richardsonian Romanesque, Renaissance Revival, and the Commercial Style.
The warehouse district has retained its sense of time and place with original bridges still in place, streets paved with bricks, and with trains passing through daily on the tracks beds around which the area first developed. The tour will discuss the overall history of the district, the history and architectural styles of individual buildings, and the architects who designed them.
The tour will walk one mile. The tour guide is Rolf Anderson.