New book tells naked truth of Minneapolis' red-light district

Star Tribune looks at Penny Petersen's MINNEAPOLIS MADAMS.

In 2000, Petersen was on a bike ride when she paused outside a stately apartment house at 212 11th Av. S. The riverfront historian and admitted “building geek” couldn’t figure out why a late-19th-century residence was so close to what had been a flour-milling district on the west side of the Mississippi River.

The building permit she found answered her question — but raised others. The permit included century-old notes that labeled it a “Sporting House” and “House of Ill Fame.” Other permits for properties that had been nearby had similar labels. Why, she wondered, had the city explicitly acknowledged bordellos? And why had she not known about them before?

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Published in: Star Tribune
By: Andrew Wagaman