Historic Buildings Being Documented in Minneapolis

Minneapolis planners are hoping to finish a 10-year-long citywide update of historic sites and places this year. It is the first survey of its kind since the 1970s.

Some may think historic preservation saves buildings that were sites of historic events or are associated with famous people. But there's more to it than that. Other things can come into consideration, such as a collection of relatively intact homes from a specific period as few as thirty years ago.

One example is the Mereen-Johnson Machine Co. on Lyndale Avenue N. near Shingle Creek. Its a a 1906 brick factory that curves along a railroad track. The woodworking machine fabricator is a remnant of the sawmill industry that once proliferated in Minneapolis near the Mississippi River.

A property's importance also depends on how much integrity it retains from the period of its significance. Moving a property, substantially altering it or making it unrecognizable would...

Get to NOMI - Valentine's Day Home Tour in Minneapolis

Twin Cities house hunters may not know that there is affordable housing as well as plenty of parks, new restaurants and other amenities to be found in north Minneapolis' Camden and Northeast communities. A group of residents has been working to change that perception by starting a grass-roots neighborhood campaign called Get to NOMI to attract prospective buyers by promoting the area's positive attributes. NOMI stands for North Minneapolis.

Joel Breeggemann, co-founder of Get to NOMI and a home owner in the Webber-Camden neighborhood, says "We want to show people that these neighborhoods are just as desirable as others in Minneapolis and St. Paul."

The group has organized a Valentine's Day, self-guided tour of 20 houses currently on the market in several north...

August Events in the Twin Cities

August is a swinging month in the Twin Cities when it comes to community celebrations, festivals, and other excuses to walk around in shorts and eat "Something on a Stick." There's lots to do, starting with today!

New Brighton's annual summer Stockyard Days are taking place on August 2 through 9. The event, now in its 29th year, features a golf tournament, a kiddie parade and grand parade, street dances, and fireworks. For a complete list of times and locations for all Stockyard Days activities, go to and click on "events."

Lake Hiawatha’s Annual Neighborhood Festival is taking place today, Wednesday, August 5 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Lake Hiawatha Park, 2701 E. 44th Street in Minneapolis. There will be a talent show with prizes, carnival games, food for sale, and community information tables.

There will be some Outdoor Puppet Theater on Thursday, August...

Greening Minnesota - June / July

The regular Greening Minnesota feature was interrupted in June because we were moving over to the new website. But that doesn't mean that the collection of green stories stopped. This month's edition includes stories from and for June and July 2009. This is in some-what chronological order for when the stories were published.

Four creative containers for recycleables (and only recycleables) were unveiled in Mears Park. The Lowertown park is the third location to take part in an experiment by St. Paul and Eureka Recycling to see whether "public space recycling" can be cost effective and help the environment. People can recycle aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles. If you see them, make sure you don't put garbage in them! That can take away from  some of the benefits. St. Paul has set a goal to be waste free by 2020.

Speaking of recycling, you probably know places where you can recycle electronics and cellphones in Minneapolis and St. Paul. But what about electronic...

Minneapolis Parks in July

In Minneapolis, there are lots of free or inexpensive events happening people of all age ranges can enjoy this summer.

A Summer Festival is happening at Brackett Park, 2728 39th Ave South, Tuesday, July 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be clowns, face-painting, a  moonwalk, magician, hot dogs, chips, and drinks. The cost is $2 per person, per $10 family. The After Sunset Shadow Puppet Show begins, fittingly, after sunset and features 3 short stories of shadow puppetry. See fairy tales, legends and experimentation in shadow, “a fusion of traditional Chinese and American shadow play.”

Also on Tuesday, July 14, there is an Ice Cream Social from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Kenwood Park at 2101 Franklin Ave. W. It says that it’s free? That might mean free ice cream, but the information wasn’t specific.

The Phillips Club Youthline is celebrating its One Year Anniversary on Wednesday, July 15, from 6 to8 p.m. at...

Greening Minnesota - May

Because there are so many great environmentally friendly things going on in Minnesota, we like to do these little green updates on the Barker & Hedges blog. May's is inspired by Arbor Day. Okay, if you're up on your earth-friendly observances, you know that Arbor Day is celebrated nationally in April. But this year, some different things have been happening in Minneapolis, I'll get right into explaining it.

First, since last month's Greening Minnesota was so early in the month, I didn't get the chance to tell you about how the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) received the 2009 Celebration Award from the Arbor Day Foundation. The national award is given each year to recognize the community organization whose Arbor Day celebration best represents the spirit of the tree planting holiday. MPRB was acknowledged for its 2008 Arbor Day celebration, “125 Trees for 125 Years” which commemorated the board’s 125th anniversary with the planting of 125 trees just south of Kenwood...

Minneapolis Near North Community Highlights

The Near North Community can be found on the north and west side of Minneapolis. It is bordered to the south by Bassett’s creek, to the west by Penn Avenue, to the north by Lowry Avenue North, and to the east by I-94, Lyndale Avenue North and the Mississippi River.  Contained within it are six smaller neighborhoods.

Hawthorne - The Hawthorne neighborhood is in the northeast corner of the Near North community in Minneapolis. The neighborhood is bounded by the Mississippi River on the east and Emerson Avenue on the west; Broadway Avenue is the southern extent and Lowry Avenue is the neighborhood’s northern boundary.  The Hawthorne neighborhood is named after the American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, born in 1804. The Hawthorne neighborhood is also the home of Farview Park, the oldest park of Minneapolis, the Nellie Stone Johnson School, and the Orvin Olson Park near the Mississippi River. Home...

Minneapolis Southwest Community Highlights

The Southwest Community of Minneapolis consists of several neighborhoods loosely bordered on the north by 36th Street and on the east by Interstate 35W, with city limits serving as western and southern boundaries. 

Linden Hills – In the northwest corner of Southwest Minneapolis is the upscale, well-developed Linden Hills neighborhood.  Linden Hills is bound on the north by 36th Street West and Lake Calhoun, on the east by William Berry Drive and Lake Harriet, on the south by 47th Street West, and on the west by France Avenue.  Linden Hills is one of the larger neighborhoods in Minneapolis. The neighborhood was named after the linden trees and rolling hills that can be found in the area.

Linden Hills first was developed during the 1880s to lure homebuyers into leave downtown for homes on Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet. Since that time, most of the original cottages have been replaced by a number of home types, like ramblers, colonials, Tudors,...

Minneapolis Parks are in Bloom!

This is one of the best times to visit Minneapolis’ popular public display gardens.  They are planted throughout the park system for education and enjoyment of Twin Cities’ residents and park visitors, in addition to their obvious beauty.   Maintained through the efforts of MPRB staff and volunteers, the garden displays range from traditional roses to native prairie grasses.  Admission to all gardens is free and they are open from dawn to dusk seven days a week.

In addition to an arboretum, the Lyndale Park Rose Garden complex has four gardens.  It is located at 4124 Roseway Road in southwest Minneapolis. 

  • Rose Garden – This 1.5-acre plot is actually the second oldest public rose garden in the U.S., visitors can enjoy the color and fragrance of thousands of roses, the “Queen of Flowers.”
  • Peace (Rock) Garden – Hardy alpine...

Minneapolis and Saint Paul Parks Are Tops

According to a newly released report from the nonprofit Trust for Public Land, Saint Paul and Minneapolis parks are ranked at or near the top in the country.  This report is just confirming what we’ve already known around here for a while:  The Minneapolis and St. Paul park systems are a cut above the rest! 

When it comes to the amount of land dedicated to parks, 16.6 percent of Minneapolis is parkland, first among cities with immediate-high population densities. St. Paul came in at second in the same density category with 14.7 percent.

The Trust for Public Land reports the following ranks for Minneapolis and Saint Paul when compared to a total of 60 of America’s largest cities:

  • Recreation centers per 20,000 residents: St. Paul, 1st, 3.0; Minneapolis, 2nd, 2.6.
  • Tennis courts per 10,000 residents: Minneapolis, 1st, 4.9; St. Paul, tied for 3rd, 3.7.
  • ...