Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Who would ever want to live at 26th and Portland?!"

I had this question asked of me once.

At the time, I responded immediately with the names of a couple of people I know who DO live at that intersection... one of whom occupies a glorious mansion attributable to T.P Healy. (And, I'd live there myself - in a heartbeat - if it meant I got to call one of the several glorious buildings there my home.)

But anyway, at the time I had no idea that this intersection was also once home to a particularly famous Minnesota resident!

What a world...

I regret that I never got to lay eyes on that home.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Historic Minneapolis Directories (Now online!)

If you're interested in researching the history of a home in Minneapolis, one of the first places to hit for information is the Hennepin History Museum.* Down in the cozy basement research library, you'll find a wealth of fascinating resources, including but not limited to yellowed Sanborn maps, local history books, and of course my personal favorite... the dual-city "blue books." (Er, and the Minneapolis Directories!)

The HHM is an absolutely WONDERFUL place to visit, so I do recommend doing so in person when you have the chance. (And with a super-affordable annual membership fee of $35 per individual, perhaps consider membership as well?) BUT, if you just want to check something out in the blue books (ahem) Minneapolis Directories and don't have time to run over to HHM, guess what? They are now (partially) online!


(And thanks so very much to Heritage Preservation Commissioner, Champion of the Pioneers & Soldiers Cemetery, and all-around super-amazing local historian Sue Hunter Weir for the tip on this.)

*Located in the former George H. & Leonora Christian residence, the museum is also a charming point at which to begin a self-guided walking tour of the Washburn Fair Oaks Mansion District. (Perhaps best summer-time.)