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.

Rochester State Hospital

Rochester State Hospital

Rochester State Hospital (Rochester, Minnesota), 1890s.

MN90: All That Glitters Is Gold

What's magnificent, has a big dome, and is worth its weight in gold? No, not a CEO with a golden parachute. Britt Aamodt finds the answer at Lakewood Memorial Chapel in Minneapolis.

Lakewood Cemetery Memorial Chapel, Minneapolis

The Memorial Chapel at Lakewood Cemetery (3600 Hennepin Avenue) in Minneapolis is one of the few buildings that can claim to be modeled after two World Heritage Sites. Its exterior, designed by architect Harry Wild Jones, was inspired by the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Its interior was designed by J&R Lamb Studios of New York and drew inspiration from St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice.

Columbarium in Lakewood Chapel

Columbarium in Lakewood Chapel

Columbarium (urn storage room) in the basement of Lakewood Chapel. Photo by Brian McMahon, 2023. Used with the permission of Brian McMahon.

Chair inside Lakewood Chapel

Chair inside Lakewood Chapel

Chair inside Lakewood Chapel. Photograph by Brian McMahon, 2023. Used with the permission of Brian McMahon.

Lakewood Chapel dome interior, 2014

Lakewood Chapel dome interior, 2014

Lakewood Chapel interior, 2014. Photograph by Wayne Moran; used with the permission of Wayne Moran.

Lakewood Chapel dome interior, 2012

Lakewood Chapel dome interior, 2012

Lakewood Chapel dome interior, April 4, 2012. Photograph by Jonathan Ellgen; used with the permission of Jonathan Ellgen.

Lakewood Chapel exterior, 2012

Lakewood Chapel exterior, 2012

Lakewood Chapel, April 4, 2012. Photograph by Jonathan Ellgen; used with the permission of Jonathan Ellgen.

Illuminated interior of Lakewood Chapel

Illuminated interior of Lakewood Chapel

The interior of Lakewood Chapel, illuminated. Photograph by Dan Anderson, April 6, 2010. Used with the permission of Dan Anderson.

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