Southwest’s iconic buildings open up

The Bakken Museum is among the 120 buildings across the city that are participating in the Doors Open Minneapolis festival later this spring. File photo

A new Minneapolis festival will allow the public to tour some of the city’s most iconic buildings for free – including a number of notable sites in Southwest.

Doors Open Minneapolis, set for May 18 and 19, will include access to buildings such as the Suburban World Theater, Calhoun Beach Club and Children’s Theatre Company.

In total, the event will include 120 buildings throughout the city, including landmarks such as Target Field and the IDS Center.

Scott Mayer, an organizer of the event, said the goal is to tell stories about Minneapolis’ past and show where it’s headed. Some buildings display elements of different historical eras, he said, while others, such as The Nordic in the North Loop, indicate what the city’s future looks like.

Doors Open Minneapolis mirrors building-oriented events in other U.S. cities. Chicago, for example, has hosted a similar event since 2011 and last year had 257 sites included in its celebration. Milwaukee’s Doors Open event saw 26,100 people visit approximately 170 sites in 2018.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey praised the event in a press conference March 5 in Bellisio Foods’ Loring Park-based innovation center, located above the Lunds & Byerlys at 12th & Hennepin. Bellisio, which manufactures and distributes frozen foods, is one of the event sponsors and will open the innovation center up for tours during the event.

Frey called Doors Open Minneapolis a “celebration of civic pride” and an “ideal day date.”

Dan McConnell, business manager of the Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council, said the event allows his organization to highlight what it’s done to build the community. He said he’s hoping people will come out to learn more about great jobs in the city.

Doors Open Minneapolis is being funded by corporate sponsors and the Minneapolis Foundation. Comcast is the presenting sponsor, and over a dozen other organizations are sponsors.

Metro Transit will offer complementary passes for the event, Mayer said, and four property owners downtown will offer free parking.

Event planners are looking for 1,000 volunteer greeters to help out at the different sites around the city. Volunteers will receive a Doors Open Minneapolis t-shirt and front-of-the-line access at all venues.

Doors Open map

1) The Bakken Museum

3537 Zenith Ave S.

This 90-year-old English Tudor mansion houses Medtronic co-founder Earl Bakken’s collection of antique electric and medical devices.

2) Hennepin History Museum

2303 3rd Ave S.

This 100-year-old mansion was commissioned by miller George Henry Christian, who helped former Wisconsin governor and Union Army general Cadwallader C. Washburn found the company that became General Mills.

3) Jones-Harrison Residence

3700 Cedar Lake Ave.

Members of the Woman’s Christian Association established this senior residence in 1888 on land donated by Judge Edwin S. Jones and with a financial bequest from Jane T. Granger Harrison.

jungle theater
Jungle Theater is among the 120 buildings across the city that are participating in the Doors Open Minneapolis festival later this spring. File photo

4) Jungle Theater

2951 Lyndale Ave S.

The 150-seat community theater moved into this space in 1999, 8 years after its founding.

5) MoZaic East

1330 Lagoon Ave.

This eight-story, 200,000-square-foot office building includes first-floor retail and features such as private rooftop terraces and shower and locker facilities.

6) Suburban World Theater/Granada Theater

3022 Hennepin Ave.

A pair of business partners envision turning this shuttered 1920s-style movie theater into a small live music venue.

7) Calhoun Beach Club

2925 Dean Parkway

This two-building complex was originally built as a private club with apartment hotel accommodations, with construction starting in 1928 and wrapping up in the 1940s.

8) Van Dusen Mansion

1900 Lasalle Ave.

Entrepreneur George Washington Van Dusen built this home in the 1890s. It eventually housed institutions such as the College of Medical Technology and Hamline Law School.

9) Moxy Minneapolis Uptown

1121 W. Lake St.

This six-story hotel is one of dozens of Moxy Hotels around the world. Shaquille O’Neal and Jamie Foxx visited the hotel during the Super Bowl week in 2018.

10) Lakewood Cemetery

3600 Hennepin Ave.

Lakewood was founded in 1871 by a group of local businessmen and has operated as a public, nonprofit and nondenominational cemetery for 147 years.

11) Project Success

1 Groveland Terrace, Suite 300

The nonprofit Project Success offers theater experiences, college tours, in-class workshops and more to students
in Minneapolis Public Schools.

12) Children’s Theatre Company

2400 3rd Ave S.

This theater company has operated out of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts campus for 54 years and has eight shows running in the 2018-19 season.

Visit to learn more about plans for the event or to sign up to volunteer.