How Architecture Has Shaped the State

Three Thousand Years of Building in Minnesota

Expert Essay: Architectural historian Larry Millett, author of Lost Twin Cities and numerous other books, offers a colorful tour of notable Minnesota buildings and building styles, from American Indian burial mounds to Beaux Arts monuments and suburban big boxes.

Black and white photograph of the dining room in the St. Paul Athletic Club, c.1925. Photograph by Charles P. Gibson.

Dining room in the St. Paul Athletic Club

Dining room in the St. Paul Athletic Club, c.1925. Photograph by Charles P. Gibson.

Black and white photograph of the baronial fireplace in the lobby of the St. Paul Athletic Club, c.1925.

St. Paul Athletic Club fireplace

Baronial fireplace in the lobby of the St. Paul Athletic Club, c.1925.

Black and white photograph of the St. Paul Athletic Club barbershop, c.1925. Photograph by Charles P. Gibson.

St. Paul Athletic Club barbershop

St. Paul Athletic Club barbershop, c.1925. Photograph by Charles P. Gibson.

Black and white photograph of the St. Paul Athletic Club and surrounding buildings. View of the intersection of Fourth Street East and Cedar Avenue, St. Paul. The St. Paul Athletic Club is at center left.

The St. Paul Athletic Club and surrounding buildings

The St. Paul Athletic Club and surrounding buildings. View of the intersection of Fourth Street East and Cedar Avenue, St. Paul. The St. Paul Athletic Club is at center left.

Black-and-white postcard with a picture of the St. Paul Athletic Club, c.1917.

Postcard of the St. Paul Athletic Club

Black-and-white postcard with a picture of the St. Paul Athletic Club, c.1917.

Color image of a color-tinted postcard with pictures of the St. Paul Athletic Club, c.1920.

St. Paul Athletic Club postcard

Color-tinted postcard with pictures of the St. Paul Athletic Club, c.1920.

Color image of a St. Paul Athletic Club Fiftieth Anniversary fold-out brochure with promotional button and mailing envelope, c.1968.

St. Paul Athletic Club Fiftieth Anniversary brochure

St. Paul Athletic Club Fiftieth Anniversary fold-out brochure with promotional button and mailing envelope, c.1968.

St. Paul Athletic Club

The St. Paul Athletic Club was designed in 1915 by architect Allen H. Stem, who with Charles A. Reed had recently completed Grand Central Station in New York City. Like Grand Central, the Athletic Club was threatened with demolition in the 1990s but survived because preservationists valued its sound construction, central location, and fine craftsmanship.

Color image of Milwaukee Avenue, Minneapolis, 2014.

Milwaukee Avenue, in Minneapolis, 2014

Milwaukee Avenue, Minneapolis, 2014.

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