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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 Motor Corps headquarters at Colonel Winfield Stephens Buick dealership in Minneapolis, c.1918.

Motor Corps headquarters

Motor Corps headquarters at Colonel Winfield Stephens' Buick dealership in Minneapolis, c.1918. Photograph from Minnesota Historical Society Sound and Visual Collection II.4.

Color image of the Minnesota Machinery Museum, Hanley Falls. Date unknown.

Minnesota Machinery Museum

Minnesota Machinery Museum, Hanley Falls, date unknown.

Minnesota Machinery Museum

When Hanley Falls School closed in the late 1970s, a few local residents saw an opportunity. Committed to sharing the history of their community, they transformed the white, two-story building on the town square into the Minnesota Machinery Museum. Since 1980, the museum has collected vintage farm equipment and created exhibits celebrating the history and agricultural tradition of Yellow Medicine County.

Black and white photograph of State Capitol Building, c.1900.

State Capitol Building

State Capitol Building, c.1900.

Black and white photograph of the expanded downtown store complex, c.1938. The  original store is in the darker shade.

Dayton’s, Minneapolis

The expanded downtown store complex, c.1938. The original store is in the darker shade.

Colorized postcard image of downtown store at 700 Nicollet Ave., 1912.

The Dayton Company

Postcard image of downtown store at 700 Nicollet Ave., 1912.

Color image of the front façade of the Head House of the Duluth Armory, 2010.

Head House, Duluth Armory

Front façade of the Head House of the Duluth Armory, 2013. Photograph by Wikimedia Commons user Chris857.

Black and white photograph of Duluth’s Third Regiment Armory, a predecessor of the larger National Guard armory built in 1915. Photographed by Hugh McKenzie c. 1915.

Third Regiment Armory, Duluth

Duluth’s Third Regiment Armory, a predecessor of the larger National Guard armory built in 1915. Photographed by Hugh McKenzie, c.1915.

Colorized postcard of the Duluth Armory, c.1920.

Duluth Armory

Postcard of the Duluth Armory, c.1920.

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