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What Historic Hopkins Properties Are Near Southwest Light Rail?

Hopkins has a handful of notable properties within a short distance of the proposed line.

The Southwest Light Rail Transit planning process isn’t just about ridership numbers and costs; it’s about minimizing the impact that’s inherent in any project of this size.

Part of that process involves surveying historic buildings on and near the routes being considered. A team examined properties within a so-called “area of potential effect”—an area-within 300 feet of the railroad corridor’s centerline—to see if they met National Register Criteria for Evaluation. For the areas around the proposed stations, they broadened their search to sites within a quarter mile.

In Hopkins, surveyors examined 143 total properties. Of those, they selected five properties and a potential historic district for further review. Only one historic site and one historic district were judged worthy of inclusion on the National Register—two of just five places in Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Minnetonka and St. Louis Park that made the cut. (One more property, the Peavey-Haglin Experimental Concrete Grain Elevator in St. Louis Park, is already listed as a National Historic Landmark.)

Click here to read the full document. The report starts on page 495.

Below is a look at the Hopkins properties that received further review. Click on the gallery above to see what the properties look like now. When you're done, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. Click here to see a related story about St. Louis Park sites.

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Depot Coffee House

  • Address: 9451 Excelsior Blvd.
  • Age: 110 years old, built in 1903
  • Original use: The Depot was originally a Minneapolis & St. Louis train depot built to serve a growing community at a time when railroads dominated Hopkins. It was also the only brick depot among the three railroads in Hopkins at the time. “Located within the industrial corridor but also a substantial brick building, the M&StL depot in Hopkins conveys the symbiotic relationship between the railroad and the community.”
  • Significance: “The M&StL Depot was built in 1903 and is directly associated with Hopkins’ growth during the 1900s and 1910s. During the first two decades of the twentieth century, Hopkins transformed from a village to a city with a distinct industrial corridor and downtown commercial district.”
  • Verdict: Recommended eligible for the National Register

Hopkins City Hall

  • Address: 1010 First Street South
  • Age: 48 years old. The first part of the building was completed in November 1964. South of the building is the original 1964 Fire Department building, now the Police Department. Additions were added in 1990 and 2003.
  • Significance: “Hopkins City Hall plays an important role in providing a needed level of service to its citizens and was built in response to the explosive growth experienced by Hopkins in the 1950s and 1960s. While there are other postwar buildings in the downtown area, the city hall building is the best local representation of this growth. … Hopkins City Hall retains integrity of location, setting, feeling, and association because the building reflects mid-twentieth century design aesthetics and conveys the city’s progress during this period.”
  • Verdict: Recommended eligible for the National Register

Hopkins Downtown Commercial Historic District

  • Address: 800 to 1000 block of Mainstreet
  • Age: From six to 119 years old. The buildings were built between 1893 and 2006.
  • Significance: “During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, downtown Hopkins served as the commercial center for local residents and residents of the surrounding agricultural communities who traveled to Hopkins to buy goods and services. … The Hopkins Downtown Commercial Historic District retains its commercial nature and represents this early period of commerce and settlement in Hopkins. Although the district is surrounded by modern commercial development, it retains a strong sense of time and place.”
  • Verdict: Recommended eligible for the National Register

Minneapolis Moline Co.

  • Address: 11111 to 11119 Excelsior Boulevard
  • Age: About 61 years old. The original red brick building was built in 1951. Several additions were added between 1962 and 1998.
  • Original use: This building has its roots in the Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co., which began manufacturing farm equipment in Hopkins in the late 1880s. After some mergers, it became Minneapolis Moline, a company that was the fifth largest farm implement manufacturing company in the United States at one point. The Hopkins branch contained the power machinery division office and factory. In 1962, vehicle parts supplier Napco Industries bought the building.
  • Significance: "The 1951 building was associated with Minneapolis Moline Company for 11 years before it was purchased by Napco Industries. However, it post-dates the heyday of the Minneapolis Moline Company, from its merger in 1929 through the postwar era; therefore, it does not reflect the significance of the company. In addition, most of the key industrial buildings, structures, and objects associated with Minneapolis Moline have been demolished and there is nothing remaining of the original pre-World War II industrial complex.”
  • Verdict: Recommended not eligible for the National Register

Prodel Inc. Building

  • Address: 30 Eighth Ave. S.
  • Age: 51 years old. Built in 1961.
  • Original Use: An office building designed to handle the needs of a surging suburban population. The Hopkins Elks bought the building in 1966.
  • Significance: “Construction of the Prodel, Inc. building was a private undertaking that does not convey the significance of community planning and development. Furthermore, there is not a cohesive collection of mid-twentieth century buildings in this area of the city to convey the overall significance of postwar community planning and development. … The building does not possess high artistic value and does not represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction.”
  • Verdict: Recommended not eligible for the National Register

Nygren Building

  • Address: 50 Ninth Ave. S.
  • Age: 50 years old, built in 1962
  • Original use: Designed by the same architecture firm as the Prudel building and built by the same construction company, the Nygren building is nearly identical to its Eighth Avenue counterpart. It's long been used as an office building.
  • Significance: Same as the Prodel building: “Construction of the Nygren building was a private undertaking that does not convey the significance of community planning and development. Furthermore, there is not a cohesive collection of mid-twentieth century buildings in this area of the city to convey the overall significance of postwar community planning and development. … The building does not possess high artistic value and does not represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction.”
  • Verdict: Recommended not eligible for the National Register

Oakridge Investment Co. Building

  • Address: 15 10th Ave. S.
  • Age: 51 years old, built in 1961.
  • Original use: It's long been used as an office building.
  • Significance: Same as the Prodel and Nygren buildings.
  • Verdict: Recommended not eligible for the National Register

 

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