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Minnesota Architects

A Biographical Dictionary

2010
Author:

Alan K. Lathrop

Minnesota Architects

The first biographical guide to Minnesota architects from 1860 to the present

Minnesota Architects presents, for the first time, a wide-ranging biographical dictionary of the many architects who were born or worked for a significant time in Minnesota. Heavily illustrated with photos of the architects’ work, Minnesota Architects is an easy-to-navigate resource for preservationists, historians, students of architecture, and anyone interested in the men and women of Minnesota’s rich architectural legacy.

Alan K. Lathrop’s book, a biographical dictionary of Minnesota architects, is informative and impressive. Minnesota Architects is likely to remain a standard reference work for years to come.

Larry Millett

From the earliest architects in Minnesota, who came just prior to the Civil War and had learned their trade through apprenticeship, to the arrival of formally trained architects in the late 1880s, and from the creation of the University of Minnesota’s school of architecture in 1912 to the present-day firms and individuals practicing across the state, Minnesota is home to an appreciable legacy of architects whose influence spreads far beyond the state’s borders.

Minnesota Architects presents, for the first time, a wide-ranging biographical dictionary of the many architects who were born or worked for a significant time in Minnesota. Each of the more than 250 biographies contains the architect’s era of work, educational and professional experience, and a description of his or her most notable buildings. Many of the architects included in this book are relatively obscure or unknown, while others are considered stars of the profession, such as Cass Gilbert, Clarence Johnston, ‘Cap’ Turner, and Edwin Lundie. Noted Minnesota architectural historian Alan K. Lathrop has drawn on an incredible range of sources—from censuses, city directories, and obituaries to interviews and genealogical resources—to create an authoritative and unprecedented survey of Minnesota’s architects.

Heavily illustrated with photos of the architects’ work, Minnesota Architects is designed to be an easy-to-navigate resource for preservationists, historians, students of architecture, and anyone interested in the men and women of Minnesota’s rich architectural legacy.

Awards

Minnesota Preservation Award from the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota.

Minnesota Architects

Alan K. Lathrop was curator of the Manuscripts Division at the University of Minnesota Libraries from 1970 to 2008. He is the author of Churches of Minnesota (Minnesota, 2003).

Minnesota Architects

Alan K. Lathrop’s book, a biographical dictionary of Minnesota architects, is informative and impressive. Minnesota Architects is likely to remain a standard reference work for years to come.

Larry Millett

It’s a form of reference book that should be copied. For now, Minnesota Architects is posed to become the new standard reference for anyone looking to learn more about the state’s rich built heritage and its well developed professional culture.

The Architects Newspaper Blog

Minnesota Architects is a welcome addition to the short list of reference books on the subject. It’s a must-have resource for both the practitioner and the armchair enthusiast of the state’s architectural legacy.

Architecture MN

Minnesota Architects

UMP blog series THEN AND NOW

 

Part One: Meet the architect behind several Midwestern landmarks -- including the Hollywood, Uptown, and Varsity Theaters in Minneapolis.
6/30/2010
The Fourth of July will mark the 117th anniversary of the birth of Jacob “Jack” Liebenberg, one of Minnesota’s most prolific and successful architects. Jack was born in Milwaukee on July 4th, 1893, and came to Minneapolis as a teenager to attend the University of Minnesota. He graduated in the first class from the School of Architecture in 1917 and went on to serve for two years in the fledgling Army Air Corps during World War I.
Read more ...


Part Two: The Metropolitan Building
7/19/2010
At one time, the tallest office building between Chicago and the West Coast stood in downtown Minneapolis. It was the Guaranty Loan Building, erected at the corner of 2nd Avenue South and 3rd Street South in 1889-90 by the local entrepreneur, Louis Menage. More commonly known as the Metropolitan Building (renamed after Menage's financial shenanigans forced the bankruptcy of his firm and sale of the building to Metropolitan Life Insurance Company), the magnificent structure was designed by Edward Townsend Mix of Milwaukee. Mix had previously designed the grand William Washburn residence (1883) near the present location of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, as well as Temple Court (1886) and the Globe Printing Company buildings in Minneapolis and St. Paul (1888 and 1887 respectively). Read more ...



Part Three: The Guthrie—A Tale of Two Theaters
7/36/2010
Sir Tyrone Guthrie brought Broadway-caliber theater to the Twin Cities, and for that a host of theater lovers, past and present, are forever in his debt. He spent years searching for a suitable location for his repertory theater and selected Minneapolis in 1960.
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Part Four: Art deco treasures in the Twin Cities
8/02/2010
The Twin Cities are a rich lode of art deco architecture, compared with other American cities of equal size. Despite having many art deco structures disappear in decades past, a number of examples (including some very good ones) still remain scattered about, mostly in downtown areas. Read more ...


Part Five: Winona, Minnesota—Highly recommended as a destination for an end-of-summer road trip.
8/09/2010
Without question: Winona, that beautiful little city on the Mississippi flood plain in the southeastern part of the state, holds some of the finest architecture in all of Minnesota. Between the early 1870s and the first decade of the twentieth century there was a virtual explosion of extraordinary buildings going up in the city. Concentrated within its confines are several unique and elegant churches, two spectacular banks (one of which was nearly lost in the early 1970s), a magnificent court house (which also came perilously close to demolition in the same era), and several residences of notable style and grace.
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Part Six - The Old Gray Heads: Roy Thorshov
8/23/2010
Some fifteen years ago or more, the late Charlie Nelson, architectural historian at the Minnesota Historical Society, started a short-lived series of programs for the local chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians called “The Old Gray Heads.” He and I conferred on the scope and details of the series, and it was well received by the membership of the local SAH chapter. Read more ...


Part Seven - The Old Gray Heads: Elizabeth Close
8/30/2010
Elizabeth Close and her late husband, Winston Close, were partners in an architectural firm in Minneapolis for many years. Close Associates, as it was called, is still in business, now under the ownership of Gar Hargens.
Read more ...