The Minnesota Daily: All of the red-lights

Penny Petersen’s “Minneapolis Madams” aims to uncover the lost history of prostitution in the Mill City.

Petersen_Minneapolis coverOn a bike ride through the riverfront district in Minneapolis, Penny Petersen realized one brick building was out of place among the upscale housing. From what she knew about the late 19th century in the city, the design of the house did not fit the bill for industry.

“Rich people were not living on the Riverfront in the 1890s,” she said. “It was an awful, smelly, dirty place.”

As a researcher for a historical consulting firm, Petersen knew to go straight to the property records to check for more info about the strange location for the architecturally significant townhouse—a clear sign of wealth in an area not known for its residential setting.


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Published in: The Minnesota Daily
By: Joe Kleinschmidt