Larry Millett makes the case for saving midcentury architecture

By Amy Goetzman

Millett_Minnesota coverIt is possible that an old house or building still stands in your neighborhood because Larry Millett influenced someone to save it. The architectural historian’s work, including his books “Lost Twin Cities” and “Once There Were Castles,” catalogs the many architectural treasures Minnesota has lost to the wrecking ball and inspires a preservation movement determined to hang on to the ones we have left. However, someone always wants to build something new, and now many of the new things built on top of those “Lost” buildings are themselves in danger.

Millett’s new book, “Minnesota Modern” (University of Minnesota Press) celebrates the state’s midcentury architecture. In what he thinks might be his last architecture book, Millett has created the definitive book on the midcentury era in Minnesota, including residential, public and commercial designs. Some examples, such as the Cooper Theater and Minneapolis Central Library, are now lost to history. (Fear not, fans of his Sherlock Holmes series; he plans to keep writing those books.)

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