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Visit the implementation page for more information on the recent Hennepin County District Court order regarding Minneapolis 2040


Identify and Evaluate Historic Resources: Continue to identify, examine, and evaluate historic contexts and historic resources, with a focus on communities that have been traditionally underrepresented.

Minneapolis is rich in history and culture. The City’s knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the places and properties that embody its history and cultures is constantly evolving and growing. For nearly 40 years Minneapolis has been working to identify, examine and evaluate properties to determine whether they merit recognition as locally designated historic properties, and it must continue to do so. The City’s work has resulted in preserving important place-defining properties such as the Minneapolis Warehouse District and the St. Anthony Falls Historic District, as well as properties that may not be architecturally prominent but are equally important to the city’s history, such as the former home of Lena Smith. Smith was a prominent civil rights attorney and activist, a founding member of the Urban League of Minneapolis and the first woman president of the Minneapolis National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. As the only practicing African-American female lawyer between 1890 and 1927, she fought for civil rights issues such as equal protection under the law, equal access to housing and the right to join labor unions.

The City relies on this work to inform decisions regarding development, community development and other programs, legislative decisions and regulations. However, for the City to effectively align heritage preservation with the broader Minneapolis 2040 goals, it needs a guiding strategic direction.


The City will seek to accomplish the following action steps to continue to identify, examine, and evaluate historic contexts and historic resources, with a focus on communities that have been traditionally underrepresented.

  1. Explore new methods and techniques to engage communities that have been traditionally underrepresented in heritage preservation to identify historic resources they consider valuable and conduct further research on these resources.
  2. Develop and implement a strategic work plan that prioritizes the identification, evaluation and designation of historic resources that are underrepresented, representative of cultural communities, or within areas under development pressure.
  3. Work with Minneapolis’ cultural communities to identify places of historic and cultural significance.
  4. Complete context studies associated with the city’s history and overall development, such as the impact of transportation and land use decisions that had citywide impacts.
  5. Nominate resources recommended for designation from historic surveys or listed on the National Register of Historic Places which have no local protection. 
  6. Proactively nominate properties and districts for consideration for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
  7. Continue to promote Conservation Districts as a tool for neighbors and neighborhoods to promote the conservation of notable properties or districts for the education, inspiration, pleasure, and enrichment of its residents, and for the long-term vitality of the city.
  8. Identify architectural styles, architects and resources from the recent past, such as the modern era, and include them for evaluation in future historic resources surveys.
  9. Gather existing data on significant and potentially significant archaeological sites and develop maps and other tools to identify and properly treat these resources.
  10. Initiate a series of archaeological reconnaissance surveys to identify potentially significant archaeological resources.
  11. Identify and evaluate important historic and cultural landscapes.
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