George Elmslie: In the Shadow of Louis Sullivan

Richard Kronick will tell the tragic story of George Elmslie, who was Louis Sullivan’s chief draftsman from 1894 to 1909. During those years, the firm’s commissions were greatly reduced, partly because of the economic depression that began in 1893, and partly because Dankmar Adler, who had been an important source of commissions, left the firm. In response, Sullivan drowned his sorrows in alcohol, and as his drinking became more and more pronounced, Elmslie, who was shy and not a self-starter, became Sullivan’s enabler, doing the lion’s share of design work on eight buildings typically credited only to Sullivan. Then, years later, when the historians of Modernism elevated Sullivan nearly to the level of sainthood as the “prophet” of Modernism, Elmslie became an inconvenient truth and was left out of the picture.

Anti-Semitism in Minneapolis

Decades ago, Jews in the Upper Midwest were excluded from much of American life. Many
employers would not hire Jews, some communities were closed to Jews, and even some
restaurants wouldn’t serve Jews. In fact, notable essayist Carey McWilliams proclaimed in 1946, “Minneapolis is the capitol of anti-Semitism in the United States. In almost every walk of life, ‘an iron curtain’ separates Jews from non-Jews in Minneapolis.” Groups whose sole purpose was anti-Semitism abounded in the 1930s and ’40s.

Steve Hunegs, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, will help us understand the history of anti-Semitism in Minneapolis.

Closing Time

Authors and historians, Andy Sturdevant and Bill Lindeke, will take us on an entertaining journey into the highs, lows, bright spots, and dark corners of the Twin Cities’ most famous and infamous drinking establishments —- history viewed from the barstool.

Women’s Right to Vote with a Minneapolis Perspective

In 1919, the Minnesota Legislature recognized women’s right to vote in presidential elections. And in 1920, after the U.S. Legislature passed the 19th Amendment and two-thirds of the states ratified the amendment, women gained the right to vote. This right to vote took decades of discussion, protest, and persuasion. Historian Linda Lounsbury will examine the Women’s Suffrage Movement, the Women’s Right to Vote focusing on the local scene, and leaders including Linden Hills’ Clara Ueland.

[VIRTUAL] Walking Tour: Third Wave of Linden Hills Development

We are in a new era in which any property in the neighborhood is a potential site for new construction, up to three units per lot. We will view recently-built examples alongside houses from the late 19th century through what was presumed to be the full “build-out” of Linden Hills in the 20th century. What has influenced development and how has the neighborhood’s character evolved? First Wave was initial land claims, development schemes, and early residents through self-identity as a community ca. 1902. Second Wave was the subsequently built community described in the 2001 book Down at the Lake. Third Wave precursors overlapped the late Second Wave: Infill of last open lots, initial tear-downs introducing disparate styles, and businesses less
connected to serving the immediate community.

This talk will be conducted via Google Meet.

[POSTPONED] I-35W: Community Impact

This program has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will look at rescheduling when things have settled down.

I-35 begins in Laredo, Texas and ends in Duluth, Minnesota, splitting into east and west legs twice: at Dallas/Fort Worth and at Minneapolis/Saint Paul. The stretch of I-35W through South Minneapolis is the focus of this presentation by University of Minnesota historians Greg Donofrio and Denise Pike. Much has been written about the destruction of Rondo Avenue for I-94, but no one has told the story of I-35W’s effects on the Southside communities — until now.

[POSTPONED] Wonderland Park

We have received notice that Good Shepherd Lutheran Church is suspending all in-person church activities as of March 14. The building will be closed and all activities suspended through March 27. Thus, this program has been postponed.

We will look at rescheduling when things have settled down.

In 1905, Wonderland Park on East Lake Street was a popular amusement park where the
people of Minneapolis could ride one of the world’s finest carousels, witness amazing, death-defying acts, and even tour a display of local premature infants being treated in the new scientific marvel, an electric incubator. Susan Hunter Weir, Director of the Friends of the Cemetery, Pioneers & Soldiers Memorial Cemetery, will share stories and images about this time in Minneapolis history.