Augsburg Park Library
Augsburg Park Library is a public library in Richfield, Minnesota. A Richfield branch library of Hennepin County Library has existed in various buildings in since 1951. Named after an adjacent park of the same name, Augsburg Park Library at 7100 Nicollet Avenue South opened in February 1975. Following the purchase of 2.8 acres of land by Hennepin County from the City of Richfield for $99,500, InterDesign, Inc. was chosen as the architect and ground was broken on December 20, 1973. The new library was two and a half times larger than its predecessor. Leading up to the approval of the construction, there was one unexpected delay. Soil studies indicated that the ground at Nicollet and 72nd Avenue South consisted of alluvial soil, needed to be removed before the building began, bumping up construction costs by $35,000; the contract to build the new facility was awarded to Henry O. Mikkelson Company; this library was built on a portion of land purchased by the Village of Richfield from Augsburg College in 1949 for $60,000.
Costs totaled $889,810 including construction, architect's fees, the land and equipment. In creating the 15,000 square foot building, existing oak trees, remnants of the oak savanna, were retained, as the architects designed a building with staggered windows on the east and west sides. Before there was a library in Richfield, residents’ needs were met with bookmobile service; the first Richfield branch of the Hennepin County Library opened in February 1951 in rented quarters in a church at 6422 Lyndale Avenue South and was known as the Richfield Library. That same year, the Friends of the Richfield Library Association was established, with a plan to fund the purchase of books and other necessary items for the new library. By 1959, Richfield Library was circulating some 100,000 books per year, the largest in Hennepin County. From 1952 to 1959, patrons grew from 1,540 to 16,000, respectively. In September 1952, the library moved to 6700 Portland Avenue South. Richfield's population was growing and bookmobile stops were added to accommodate patrons.
In 1961, the Hennepin County Library-Augsburg opened at Nicollet. Designed by architect Ralph Shimer, a Richfield resident, construction was funded in part through Richfield's municipal liquor store profits in the amount of $100,000. Additional funding of $20,000 was provided from Community Center Funds. Demand for services continued to grow, resulted in the move to the new purpose-built library, its current location one block south of the 1961 locale, it is a geographic bookend to complement Hennepin County Central Library's position at the north end of Nicollet Avenue. Minneapolis – St. Paul Magazine chose Augsburg Community Library as “Hennepin County’s Best Library to Read In.” In August 2013, Augsburg Park Library closed for a one-month remodeling. Updates were made to the building, with a focus on creating more natural light for patrons, a teen reading lounge, the addition of a Family Play and Learn Spot with input from the Minnesota Children's Museum, which provides a dedicated area for children to share and play.
Going well beyond the typical children's area, the Smart Play Spot supports pre-reading skills and engages adults in children's early literacy, providing activities for children's hands-on learning and opportunities to sing and play with other children. Serving a vibrant neighborhood in both Richfield and nearby Minneapolis, Augsburg Park's collection includes resources for Somali and Vietnamese readers. Included in the library is a collection of folktales in Vietnamese cherished by patrons from Vietnam. Several days each week during the school year, homework helpers are available to tutor K-12 students. Since 2007, the library has co-hosted a kite festival in June in partnership with Friends of Augsburg Park Library and the Richfield Police. Ongoing programs include help with tax preparation, conversation circles for those wishing to improve their English language speaking skills, Sing, Learn! in collaboration with the MacPhail Center for Music. Librarians at Augsburg create award-winning tailored programs for the community.
Phuoc Tran, a librarian at Augsburg Park Library and the first Vietnamese librarian in Minnesota, was recognized in 2013 with an Outstanding Citizen Award, an annual recognition by the Richfield Human Rights Commission. She has contributed to the success of a number of community events, including: the Unity in the Community celebration which replaced Cinco de Mayo with a festival celebrating the cultural plurality of the community. Tran has delivered cultural training to the Richfield Police. Virginia Morris was recognized by the Richfield Human Rights Commission in 2002, receiving the Gene and Mary Jacobsen Outstanding Citizen Award. Additionally, she was recognized with the Sandy Berman Award for Social Responsibility in Library Services. Saluting her tireless service to the patrons of Augsburg, she has created and delivered award-winning programs including tailored support to Spanish speaking members of the community, created the annual “practice ride on a school bus” for children getting ready for kindergarten, to name a few
César Pelli, founder of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, is an Argentine American architect who has designed some of the world's tallest buildings and other major urban landmarks. Some of his most notable contributions include the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the World Financial Center in New York City; the American Institute of Architects named him one of the ten most influential living American architects in 1991 and awarded him the AIA Gold Medal in 1995. In 2008, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat presented him with The Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award. Pelli was born October 1926, in Tucuman, Argentina. Pelli attended the Universidad Nacional de Tucumán. In 1952, he became a student at the University of Illinois School of Architecture where he received his Master of Science in Architecture degree in 1954. In 1952, Pelli came to the United States with his wife, Diana Balmori, became a naturalized citizen in 1964. After his graduation from the University of Illinois School of Architecture, Pelli worked for Eero Saarinen in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan for ten years.
While with Eero, he worked on the TWA terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport and the Morse and Stiles colleges at Yale University. In 1964, he became director of design at Daniel, Mann and Mendenhall in Los Angeles. In 1965, Pelli designed the Sunset Mountain Park Urban Nucleus. In 1968 Pelli became partner for design at Gruen Associates in Los Angeles. In 1969, Pelli designed the COMSAT development laboratories in Clarksburg, Maryland. Pelli designed the landmark first building at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, completed 1975; the United States Embassy in Tokyo, was designed by Pelli in 1972 and completed in 1975. While practicing in Los Angeles, Pelli taught in the architecture program at UCLA. In 1977, Pelli was selected to be the dean of the Yale School of Architecture in New Haven and served in that post until 1984. Shortly after Pelli arrived at Yale, he won the commission to design the expansion and renovation of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which resulted in the establishment of his own firm, Cesar Pelli & Associates.
The museum's expansion/renovation and the Museum of Modern Art Residential Tower were completed 1984. Among other significant projects during this period are the Crile Clinic Building in Cleveland, completed 1984. Pelli was named one of the ten most influential living American Architects by the American Institute of Architects in 1991. In 1995, he was awarded the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal. In May 2004, Pelli was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University. In 2005, Pelli was honored with the Connecticut Architecture Foundation's Distinguished Leadership Award. Buildings during this period are marked by further experimentation with a variety of materials and Pelli's evolution of the skyscraper. One Canada Square at Canary Wharf in London; the Petronas Towers were completed in 1997, sheathed in stainless steel and reflecting Islamic design motifs. The dual towers were the world's tallest buildings until 2004; that year, Pelli received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the design of the Petronas Towers Pelli's design for the National Museum of Art in Osaka, Japan was completed 2005, the same year that Pelli's firm changed its name to Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects to reflect the growing roles of senior principals Fred W. Clarke and Rafael Pelli.
The Cira Centre on the Schuylkill River, designed by Pelli, opened in January 2006. Pelli designed the master plan for Cira Centre South, the tallest building dedicated to student housing in the United States; the building houses students of the University of Pennsylvania and was completed in 2014. He was architect of the 730-foot luxury mixed-use skyscraper FMC Tower as part of the Cira Centre South development; this period has seen the completion of several cultural/civic projects designed by Pelli. The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, opened in 2006, the same year that Pelli's design for the Minneapolis Central Library completed construction, as well as the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and Samueli Theater in Costa Mesa, California. Pelli designs for office towers and developments throughout Asia and South America have been completed in the past decade. In 2012, the three-building Pacific Design Center, which Pelli designed 40 years earlier while at Gruen Associates, was completed with the addition of the Red Building.
In May 2008, Pelli was given an honorary Doctor of Arts degree by Yale University. That same year, he received the Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. In 2012, Pelli was honored with the platinum Konex Award for architecture and the diamond Konex Award for visual arts. 1982: "Skyscrapers," Perspecta 18, pp. 134–151. 1984: Introduction to The Second Generation by Esther McCoy 1999: Observations for Young Architects 2001: Petronas Towers: The Architecture of High Construction co-authored with Michael J. Crosbie 2002: Foreword to R
Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
Brooklyn Park is the sixth largest city in the U. S. state of Minnesota. The city is on the west bank of the Mississippi River, upstream from downtown Minneapolis in northern Hennepin County. Brooklyn Park is a northwest suburb of the Twin Cities metropolitan area; the population of Brooklyn Park was 75,781 at the 2010 census and estimated in 2016 to be 79,707. Brooklyn Park is listed as a "Tree City USA" and is home to 47 miles of trails and 67 parks, including the Rush Creek Regional Trail and the northern section of Palmer Lake Park; the city is known for the West Coon Rapids Dam, on the west side of the Mississippi River. North Hennepin Community College and a campus of Hennepin Technical College are in the city. Brooklyn Park is a "bedroom community" of Minneapolis and Saint Paul and is considered both a 2nd- and 3rd-tier suburb, because much of the land north of 85th Avenue was developed after 2000; the city still has undeveloped land and farms, including the historic Eidem Homestead, a 1900s working farm, a popular tourist attraction for families and school field trips.
Brooklyn Township, the township split in 1860, with the southeast village incorporating into Brooklyn Center and Crystal. Settlers from Michigan formally established the township and named it after their hometown of Brooklyn, Michigan. Brooklyn Park incorporated as a village in 1954, incorporated as a city in 1969. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.57 square miles, of which 26.07 square miles are land and 0.50 square miles, or 1.87%, are water. The Mississippi River forms the eastern boundary of the city, separating it from Coon Rapids and Fridley in Anoka County. Interstates 94 and 694 are located in the far southern portion of Brooklyn Park. U. S. Highway 169 is located near the western part of the city. State Highway 252, a 4.5-mile north–south highway, is located near the eastern portion of the city. State Highway 610 runs east–west through the northern portion of Brooklyn Park. County Road 81 serves as one of the main routes; as of the census of 2010, there were 75,781 people, 26,229 households, 18,763 families residing in the city.
The population density was 2,906.8 inhabitants per square mile. There were 27,841 housing units at an average density of 1,067.9 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 52.2% White, 24.4% African American, 0.5% Native American, 15.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.6% from other races, 3.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.4% of the population. There were 26,229 households of which 41.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.7% were married couples living together, 15.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.8% had a male householder with no wife present, 28.5% were non-families. 22.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.7% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.40. The median age in the city was 32.5 years. 29% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the city was 48.9% male and 51.1% female. According to the 2000 census, there were 67,388 people, 24,432 households, 17,346 families residing in the city.
The population density was 2,586.1 people per square mile. There were 24,846 housing units at an average density of 953.5 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 71.44% White, 14.33% African American, 0.57% Native American, 9.22% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 1.49% from other races, 2.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race totaled 4,481 residents in the city. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.88% of the population. There were 24,432 households out of which 39.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.6% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.0% were non-families. 22.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.7% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.26. In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 28.8% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 34.9% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, 5.6% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.8 males. The median household income/owner occupied was $88,972; the median household income/renter occupied was $42,541. The combined median income for a household in the city is $64,297; the per capita income for the city was $23,199. About 3.8% of families and 5.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.3% of those under age 18 and 4.7% of those age 65 or over. The Three Rivers Figure Skating Club operates out of the Brooklyn Park Community Activity Center. Brooklyn Park is served by a six-member city council, two members for each voting district within the city; the three districts are West and Central. The mayor is Republican Jeffrey Lunde, who won a 12-way special election in April 2011 with only 31% of the vote, was narrowly reelected over Democrat Hollies J. Winston in 2018. Brooklyn Park is served by three school districts: Osseo Area School District 279, Anoka-Hennepin School District 11, Robbinsdale School District 281.
High schools serving Brooklyn Park: Champlin Park High School Cooper Senior High School Osseo Senior High School Park Center Senior High School
Minnesota is a state in the Upper Midwest and northern regions of the United States. Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd U. S. state on May 11, 1858, created from the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory. The state has a large number of lakes, is known by the slogan the "Land of 10,000 Lakes", its official motto is L'Étoile du Nord. Minnesota is the 12th largest in area and the 22nd most populous of the U. S. states. This area is the center of transportation, industry and government, while being home to an internationally known arts community; the remainder of the state consists of western prairies now given over to intensive agriculture. Minnesota was inhabited by various indigenous peoples for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans. French explorers and fur traders began exploring the region in the 17th century, encountering the Dakota and Ojibwe/Anishinaabe tribes. Much of what is today Minnesota was part of the vast French holding of Louisiana, purchased by the United States in 1803.
Following several territorial reorganizations, Minnesota in its current form was admitted as the country's 32nd state on May 11, 1858. Like many Midwestern states, it remained centered on lumber and agriculture. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, a large number of European immigrants from Scandinavia and Germany, began to settle the state, which remains a center of Scandinavian American and German American culture. In recent decades, immigration from Asia, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, Latin America has broadened its demographic and cultural composition; the state's economy has diversified, shifting from traditional activities such as agriculture and resource extraction to services and finance. Minnesota's standard of living index is among the highest in the United States, the state is among the best-educated and wealthiest in the nation; the word Minnesota comes from the Dakota name for the Minnesota River: The river got its name from one of two words in the Dakota language,'Mní sóta' which means "clear blue water", or'Mnißota', which means cloudy water.
Native Americans demonstrated the name to early settlers by dropping milk into water and calling it mnisota. Many places in the state have similar names, such as Minnehaha Falls, Minneota, Minnetonka and Minneapolis, a combination of mni and polis, the Greek word for "city". Minnesota is the second northernmost U. S. state and northernmost contiguous state. Its isolated Northwest Angle in Lake of the Woods county is the only part of the 48 contiguous states lying north of the 49th parallel; the state is part of the U. S. region known as part of North America's Great Lakes Region. It shares a Lake Superior water border with Michigan and a land and water border with Wisconsin to the east. Iowa is to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota are to the west, the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba are to the north. With 86,943 square miles, or 2.25% of the United States, Minnesota is the 12th-largest state. Minnesota has gneisses that are about 3.6 billion years old. About 2.7 billion years ago, basaltic lava poured out of cracks in the floor of the primordial ocean.
The roots of these volcanic mountains and the action of Precambrian seas formed the Iron Range of northern Minnesota. Following a period of volcanism 1.1 billion years ago, Minnesota's geological activity has been more subdued, with no volcanism or mountain formation, but with repeated incursions of the sea, which left behind multiple strata of sedimentary rock. In more recent times, massive ice sheets at least one kilometer thick ravaged the state's landscape and sculpted its terrain; the Wisconsin glaciation left 12,000 years ago. These glaciers covered all of Minnesota except the far southeast, an area characterized by steep hills and streams that cut into the bedrock; this area is known as the Driftless Zone for its absence of glacial drift. Much of the remainder of the state outside the northeast has 50 feet or more of glacial till left behind as the last glaciers retreated. Gigantic Lake Agassiz formed in the northwest 13,000 years ago, its bed created the fertile Red River valley, its outflow, glacial River Warren, carved the valley of the Minnesota River and the Upper Mississippi downstream from Fort Snelling.
Minnesota is geologically quiet today. The state's high point is Eagle Mountain at 2,301 feet, only 13 miles away from the low of 601 feet at the shore of Lake Superior. Notwithstanding dramatic local differences in elevation, much of the state is a rolling peneplain. Two major drainage divides meet in Minnesota's northeast in rural Hibbing, forming a triple watershed. Precipitation can follow the Mississippi River south to the Gulf of Mexico, the Saint Lawrence Seaway east to the Atlantic Ocean, or the Hudson Bay watershed to the Arctic Ocean; the state's nickname, "Land of 10,000 Lakes", is apt, as there are 11,842 Minnesota lakes over 10 acres in size. Minnesota's portion of Lake Superior is the largest at 962,700 acres and deepest body of wate
Minneapolis Public Library
The Minneapolis Public Library was a library system that served the residents of Minneapolis, Minnesota in the United States. It was founded in 1885 with the establishment of the Minneapolis Library Board by an amendment to the Minneapolis City Charter. Lumber baron and philanthropist T. B. Walker and other city leaders such as Thomas Lowry were members of the first library board. In 2008, after some financial difficulties, the library was merged into the Hennepin County Library system. At the time of its merger, the library included Central Library in downtown Minneapolis and fourteen branch libraries, its collection numbered about 3.1 million items with about 2.2 million of these housed in the central library. The predecessor of Minneapolis's public library was a private library called the Minneapolis Athenæum, it was organized by Minneapolis businessmen in 1859 as a subscription library, its shares were traded on the local stock market. After T. B. Walker moved to Minneapolis he bought shares in the Athenæum and gave away memberships to it, promoting the idea of a free public library for the city.
Other stock holders raised objections, but the technique worked and soon the city financed a free library for the public with a one mill property tax. When the Minneapolis Public Library was established in 1885 the Athenæum became a partner of it and still exists as a separate nonprofit organization sharing space with the library. Three central libraries have been built in Minneapolis, each replacing the last with a bigger and more up-to-date building; the first opened in 1889, the second in 1961 and the third and current building in 2006. On November 7, 2000, Minneapolis voters approved a $140 million package to improve library services, including funding a new Central Library building; the building was designed by Cesar Pelli, along with the Minneapolis firm Architectural Alliance, It opened to the public on May 20, 2006. At a cost of $250 per square foot, the library features a host of energy-efficient measures, including a roof garden and substantial daylight. While the building was under construction, most services were provided at the interim Central Library Marquette location, located on two floors in Marquette Plaza.
Cost of providing an interim site while the old library was demolished and rebuilt exceeded $10 million. Until the 2002 closure and demolition of the old central library, the Minneapolis Planetarium found its home there, possessing a projector machine older than the space age itself. In 2005, the Minnesota Legislature apportioned funding for a new planetarium planned to be on the roof of the new Central Library building. Instead, the planetarium is now planned to be part of a new Bell Museum of Natural History building, on the University of Minnesota's Saint Paul campus; the first two branches of the Minneapolis Public Library opened in 1890, one each on the north and south sides of Minneapolis. A branch in the basement of North High School opened on February 27, 1890, one at 17th and Franklin Ave on April 23. By 2002 there were community libraries; each library had a staff member, assigned to local schools to discuss the services available at the library. The 2002 referendum included funds to renovate community libraries, supplementing an existing program.
The community libraries and their renovation status are: East Lake Community Library, built 1976, renovated 2007 Franklin Community Library, built 1914, renovated 2005 Hosmer Community Library, built 1916, renovated 1997 Linden Hills Community Library, built 1931, renovated 2002 Nokomis Community Library, built 1968, renovated 2009–2011 North Regional Community Library, built 1971, renovated 2007 Northeast Community Library, built 1973, reopened after renovation in 2011 Pierre Bottineau Community Library, built 2003 in the Grain Belt Brewery complex to replace an older storefront library Roosevelt Community Library, built 1927, renovated and expanded 2013 Southeast Community Library, built 1963 Sumner Community Library, built 1915, renovated 2005 Walker Community Library, first built in 1915, a replacement was built in 1981, demolished and replaced by a building that opened in 2014 Washburn Community Library, built 1970, expanded 1992, renovated 2014 Webber Park Community Library, built 1980, razed in 2013.
Now in a new building on 4440 Humboldt Avenue that opened in May 2017 Many of the buildings built by the Minneapolis Public Library system are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In some cases, the libraries have been moved to new, more modern buildings. East Lake Community Library, original building at 2916 East Lake Street; the building now houses a liberal political products store. Franklin Community Library, current building at 1314 West Franklin Ave. Linden Hills Branch Library, current building at 2900 W. 43rd St. Minneapolis Public Library, North Branch, original building at 1834 Emerson Ave. N; the North branch was closed not long after the much larger North Regional Library opened at 1315 Lowry Ave. N. about a mile away. Roosevelt Community Library, current building at 4026 28th Ave. S. Sumner Branch Library, current building at 611 Emerson Ave. N. Thirty-sixth Street Branch Library, current building at 347 E. 36th. St. since renamed to Hosmer Community Library Walker Branch Library, original building at 2901 Hennepin Ave. S.
Some had suggested that the Walker library be moved back to its original building as it was vacant and the new underground facility has been dogged by maintenance issues.
Minneapolis–Saint Paul is a major metropolitan area built around the Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix rivers in east central Minnesota; the area is known as the Twin Cities after its two largest cities, the most populous city in the state, Saint Paul, the state capital. It is an example of twin cities in the sense of geographical proximity. Minnesotans living outside of Minneapolis and Saint Paul refer to the two together as "The Cities". There are several different definitions of the region. Many refer to the Twin Cities as the seven-county region, governed under the Metropolitan Council regional governmental agency and planning organization; the Office of Management and Budget designates 16 counties as the "Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington MN–WI Metropolitan Statistical Area", the 16th largest in the United States; the entire region known as the "Minneapolis–St. Paul MN–WI Combined Statistical Area", has a population of 3,946,533, the 14th largest, according to 2017 Census estimates. Despite the Twin moniker, both cities are independent municipalities with defined borders.
Minneapolis is somewhat younger with more modern skyscrapers downtown, while Saint Paul has been likened to an East Coast city, with quaint neighborhoods and a vast collection of well-preserved late-Victorian architecture. Minneapolis was influenced by its early Lutheran heritage. Saint Paul was influenced by its early French and German Catholic roots; the first European settlement in the region was near what is now known as the town of Stillwater, Minnesota. The city is 20 miles from downtown Saint Paul and lies on the western bank of the St. Croix River, which forms the border of central Minnesota and Wisconsin. Another settlement that began fueling early interest in the area was the outpost at Fort Snelling, constructed from 1820 to 1825 at the confluence of the Minnesota River and the Mississippi River. Fort Snelling held jurisdiction over the land south of Saint Anthony Falls, thus a town known as Saint Anthony grew just north of the river. For several years, the only European resident to live on the south bank of the river was Colonel John H. Stevens, who operated a ferry service across the river.
As soon as the land area controlled by Fort Snelling was reduced, new settlers began flocking across to the new village of Minneapolis. The town grew and Minneapolis and Saint Anthony merged. On the eastern side of the Mississippi, a few villages such as Pig's Eye and Lambert's Landing developed and would soon grow to become Saint Paul. Natural geography played a role in the development of the two cities; the Mississippi River Valley in this area is defined by a series of stone bluffs that line both sides of the river. Saint Paul grew up around Lambert's Landing, the last place to unload boats coming upriver at an accessible point, some seven miles downstream from Saint Anthony Falls, the geographic feature that, due to the value of its immense water power for industry, defined the location of Minneapolis and its prominence as the Mill City; the falls can be seen today from the Mill City Museum, housed in the former Washburn "A" Mill, among the world's largest mills in its time. The oldest farms in the state are located in Washington County, the eastern most county on the Minnesota side of the metropolitan area.
Joseph Haskell was Minnesota's first farmer, harvesting the first crops in the state in 1840 on what is now part of Afton Township on Trading Post Trail. The Grand Excursion, a trip into the Upper Midwest sponsored by the Rock Island Railroad, brought more than a thousand curious travelers into the area by rail and steamboat in 1854; the next year, in 1855, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published The Song of Hiawatha, an epic poem based on the Ojibwe legends of Hiawatha. A number of natural area landmarks were included in the story, such as Lake Minnetonka and Minnehaha Falls. Tourists inspired by the coverage of the Grand Excursion in eastern newspapers and those who read Longfellow's story flocked to the area in the following decades. At one time, the region had numerous passenger rail services, including both interurban streetcar systems and interstate rail. Due to the width of the river at points further south, the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area was one of the few places where the Mississippi could be crossed by railroad.
A great amount of commercial rail traffic ran through the area carrying grain to be processed at mills in Minneapolis or delivering other goods to Saint Paul to be transported along the Mississippi. Saint Paul had long been at the head of navigation on the river, prior to a new lock and dam facility being added upriver in Minneapolis. Passenger travel hit its peak in 1888 with nearly eight million traversing to and from the Saint Paul Union Depot; this amounted to 150 trains daily. Before long, other rail crossings were built farther south and travel through the region began to decline. In an effort by the rail companies to combat the rise of the automobile, some of the earliest streamliners ran from Chicago to Minneapolis/Saint Paul and served distant points in the Pacific Northwest. Today, the only vestige of this interstate service comes by Amtrak's Seattle/Portland to Chicago Empire Builder route, running once daily in each direction, it is named after James J. Hill, a railroad tycoon who settled on Summit Avenue in Saint Paul at what is now known as the James J. Hill House.
Like many Northern cities that grew up with the Industrial Revolution, Minneapolis and St. Paul experienced shifts in their economic base as heavy industry declined in the 1960s and 1970s. Along with the economic decline of the 60s and 70s came pop
Washburn Library Washburn Community Library, is a public library in the Hennepin County Library system. Opened in September 1970, Washburn Library, located at 5244 Lyndale Avenue South, began with a footprint of 14,451 square feet and 18,000 books. Designed by Brooks Cavin, an architect who studied under Walter Gropius and Eero Saarinen, Washburn reflected mid-century modernism. Set near Minnehaha Creek, Washburn meets the needs of Southwest Minneapolis in a picturesque neighborhood. Patron traffic rose and broke all records: to meet demand, library staff requested other branches to share their materials. Phonograph albums and children's books were popular. In the first year of service, Washburn circulated 273,000 books, higher than any other Minneapolis Public Library branch at the time. Named for William D. Washburn, a founder of Washburn-Crosby Milling Company, a United States Senator, Washburn Library's public art includes a millstone, honoring Minneapolis' heritage as a grain milling center in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Washburn-Crosby Milling Company is now known as General Mills. Before Washburn Library was built, another library was proposed for Southwest Minneapolis, Gratia Countryman Library at 54th St. and Penn Ave. In 1959 the Minneapolis Public Library Board requested the City Council to acquire by condemnation a site for the new Gratia Countryman Branch Library; the desired land was in southwest Minneapolis in the vicinity of 54th St W. and Penn Ave S. The proposed library was to be the first neighborhood library built by MPL since 1931, when the Linden Hills branch was built, it would serve an area of about 30,000 residents, who were accessing library services via the bookmobile and at the nearest branch, the Linden Hills library, several miles away. The Countryman library was scheduled to be the first in an ambitious 20-year branch expansion program which would extend library services to areas of the city not served; the site for the proposed Gratia Countryman Library was selected due to the lack of library service in an area with prodigious growth.
Bookmobiles were unable to meet the demand for books and information. In a library survey, MPL found that 37,373 books were circulated by bookmobiles throughout the proposed area during the period from January 1 to June 30, 1960; the new proposed branch would house 30,000 books, 100 periodicals, more than 5,000 pamphlets and clippings. The proposed 14,000 sq. ft. building was estimated to cost $327,000 for construction, planning and equipment. The library selected Associates, Inc. to design the structure. Preliminary plans were approved by the library board in November, 1960, but this is. The legislature passed funding for the separate Hennepin County Library system in order to serve the growing suburban population, but rejected plans for growth in the city system. MPL struggled financially and lacked sufficient funds to continue its 20-year branch expansion program; the proposed Gratia Countryman Library was put on hold and dropped. In June, 1966, the Library Board voted to offer for sale the library property at 54th St. and Penn Ave S. for a minimum price of $37,500.
The property was sold in 1969 for $18,400. The desire to honor Gratia Countryman by naming a library after her continued. In 1984, the Library Board discussed the renaming of North Regional Library and in 2000, East Lake Library was suggested. Approaching its 20th anniversary in 1989, the Washburn branch needed to be expanded and updated to meet patrons' needs; the community it served had expanded, including more children living in the neighborhoods, demand was bustling for materials. In fact, it was the busiest of Minneapolis's 14 neighborhood branch libraries. In 1990, Minneapolis Public Library leadership determined that the library was in need of significant remodeling and approved an expanded footprint of 18,965 square feet, a 28% increase. In serving the neighborhoods of Lynnhurst, Armatage, Windom, Page and Diamond Lake, it was noted in particular that significant after-school use by children warranted improving services and spaces for their use; the space needed to better meet the needs of the community's patrons: deferred maintenance needed to be performed on the building, technology upgrades were overdue.
Leonard Parker and Associates were chosen to develop the plans. In 2014, a six-week long update to the building resulted in an open floor plan, more space for children and teens, new furniture and shelves, including technology tables for the public computers, more electrical outlets for powering portable electronics. Joining the millstone in the external landscape, the update to the Washburn added a sculpture by Ann Wolfe and Child, a large and bright whimsical mural by In Virginia Bradley on the domed ceiling of the children's area