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.

People's Lobby speaker in the Minnesota senate chamber

People's Lobby speaker in the Minnesota senate chamber

A speaker addresses members of the People's Lobby during their occupation of the Minnesota senate on the night of April 5, 1937.

Interior of the Great Hall at Grand Portage

Interior of the Great Hall at Grand Portage

Interior of the reconstructed Great Hall at Grand Portage National Monument. Photograph by Flickr user Sean Marshall, August 6, 2019. CC BY-SA 2.0

Interior of the canoe warehouse at Grand Portage

Interior of the canoe warehouse at Grand Portage

Interior of the reconstructed canoe warehouse at Grand Portage National Monument. Photograph by Flickr user Sean Marshall, August 6, 2019. CC BY-SA 2.0

Interior of the Grand Portage National Monument Heritage Center

Interior of the Grand Portage National Monument Heritage Center

Ojibwe wigwam interactive display inside of the Grand Portage National Monument Heritage Center. The opening of the site’s Heritage Center in 2017 shifted the site’s offices from Grand Marais to Grand Portage and provided a larger space for more inclusive interpretation. Photograph by Flickr user Ken Lund, August 14, 2018. CC BY-SA 2.0

The Great Hall and kitchen at Grand Portage National Monument

The Great Hall and kitchen at Grand Portage National Monument

The reconstructed Great Hall (right) and kitchen (left) at Grand Portage National Monument, August 6, 2019. The two structures are connected by a covered walkway. Photograph by Flickr user Sean Marshall. CC BY-NC 2.0

Canoe shed at Grand Portage

Canoe shed at Grand Portage

The canoe shed at Grand Portage, ca. 1975. The shed, located outside the main stockade and used as a warehouse, was reconstructed in 1973.

Great Hall at Grand Portage

Great Hall at Grand Portage

The second reconstructed Great Hall at Grand Portage, ca. 1975. This structure was built after lightning struck the 1930s reconstruction, burning it to the ground. The gatehouse behind the Great Hall (at right) was erected in 1966 as part of the reconstruction of the 1930s stockade. Archaeological work undertaken in the 1960s and early 1970s helped builders create more historically accurate structures. Photograph by Robert C. Wheeler.

Canoe in the Stockade Museum at Grand Portage

Canoe in the Stockade Museum at Grand Portage

The interior of the Great Hall at Grand Portage which was used as a museum, ca. 1940. The museum included small objects recovered as part of archaeological investigations of the site. Initially, the Great Hall also included a gift shop and cafe. Most of the museum’s contents were destroyed in a 1969 fire.

Great Hall, Grand Portage National Monument

Great Hall, Grand Portage National Monument

The reconstructed Great Hall and stockade at Grand Portage, ca. 1955.

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