Prospect Park Water Tower, Minneapolis

Erected in 1913 on Tower Hill, one of the highest elevations in Minneapolis, the Prospect Park Water Tower was built to increase water pressure in the area and thereby enhance firefighting efforts. Familiarly known as "The Witch's Hat," it has become the neighborhood's architectural mascot not for its function but for its singularity.

Soo Line-First National Bank, Minneapolis

When it opened at the corner of Marquette Avenue and Fifth Street in 1915, the Soo Line-First National Bank Building was the tallest skyscraper in Minneapolis and also among the most elegant.

Southdale Center

Donald Dayton, head of Minneapolis-based Dayton's department stores, teamed up with designer Victor Gruen to create a comfortable, convenient setting for Minnesota shoppers. In 1952, Dayton and Gruen unveiled their plans for Southdale, the nation's first enclosed, weatherproofed mall.

St. Paul City Hall and Ramsey County Courthouse

Ramsey County's third courthouse, which opened in 1932, is a treasure trove of wood, stone, sculpture, and art-deco style.

St. Paul Union Depot

The St Paul Union Depot Company was incorporated in 1879 by the railroads serving St. Paul. The company was created for the purpose of building and operating a single, jointly owned railroad passenger terminal. The first depot opened in 1881. It was destroyed by fire in 1884 and then rebuilt. The depot received an addition in a 1900-1901 remodeling project.

Stone Arch Bridge, Minneapolis

Built over the course of twenty-two months in 1882 and 1883, the Stone Arch Bridge across the Mississippi River in Minneapolis is a feat of engineering and a reminder of the importance of rail traffic in the late nineteenth century.

How Architecture Has Shaped the State

Three Thousand Years of Building in Minnesota

Expert Essay: Architectural historian Larry Millett, author of Lost Twin Cities and numerous other books, offers a colorful tour of notable Minnesota buildings and building styles, from American Indian burial mounds to Beaux Arts monuments and suburban big boxes.

West Hotel, Minneapolis

In 1884, the young city of Minneapolis got its first world-class hotel, the West Hotel. It was a match for the growing aspirations of the city, which until then had been served primarily by the Nicollet House, founded in 1857, before Minnesota was a state.

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