Stevens Square-Loring Heights Architectural Style

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In 1989, Stevens Square received its historical designation due primarily to the number of three-and-a-half story brick apartment buildings: similar in size, character and materials, surrounding the park.  Today, many are renter occupied similar to the profile of the people who first lived in the neighborhood.  Therefore, the neighborhood character is demographically as well as physically very much the same as it was when it first took shape as a neighborhood of respectable apartment dwellings in the early 1900's.

There is a visual cohesiveness to Stevens Square neighborhood because of the uniformity of building style, height and materials used. As stated, nearly all the apartment buildings are three-and-a-half stories high and have a brown brick exterior. Most have contrasting limestone lintels, belt-coursing and columns flanking the main entrances. Broad cornices of tin and terra cotta prevail, most of which are in good repair. Stone quoining is used on a number of the buildings. Although substantial renovation has been performed on the interior of many of the buildings, the exteriors have been largely left untouched. Even the original double-hung windows remain, although most have been covered by aluminum combination storms and screens.

The Loring Heights area (west of LaSalle Avenue) differs from the Stevens Square part of the neighborhood in several ways. First, it is not as densely populated: the predominant architectural structures are single family homes, duplexes, townhomes, and mansions. Second, Loring Heights is home to several of the neighborhood's community based residential treatment facilities. Many professionals also make Loring Heights their base.  The Franklin Avenue corridor sits up on a ridge with a retaining wall along most of the avenue in the Loring Heights Sector.

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The Stevens Square Historic District was locally designated in 1988 and nationally designated in 1993, thanks to the hard work and cooperation of neighborhood residents and property owners.  The area has been designated because of the unique and cohesive historic architecture of 3-1/2 story brownstones surrounding Stevens Square Park. For more information about the formation of the district, click here.

The area south of what is the Minneapolis Central Business District was platted in 1856. Two property owners, Richard J. Mendenhall and Dr. Nathan B.Hill, owned most of the surrounding land which they developed as a residential neighborhood made up of a few large, single family homes. These large residential lots and "country estates" ensured that the Stevens Square area remained stable during periodic, speculative real-estate booms.

Stevens Square Community Organization (SSCO) has in place a comprehensive and proactive safety and crime prevention program that works successfully with law enforcement to reduce and prevent crime by bringing to the table significant volunteer involvement and staff expertise.  SSCO has the longest active Block Patrol in the city, which has been highly effective.  Block Patrol is a way for residents to communicate with the organization regarding concerns, and a way for the organization to connect with residents to promote safety in the neighborhood.

The Stevens Square-Loring Heights NRP Building Safety Improvement Program aims to support property owners and tenants in their efforts to increase the safety of the neighborhood through improvements to their buildings and environs. This program was formerly known as the Lighting and Fencing Program, but has been expanded to include other safety-related improvements, as described in the guidelines. It is funded in full by the Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program in conjunction with the priorities of the members of the Stevens Square-Loring Heights neighborhood, and is implemented with the support of the 5th Precinct SAFE Unit.

I you are interested in applying for a safety grant, please contact SSCO’s Safety Coordinator at (612) 874-2840.

Here are a few useful links to local and state safety-related sites.

Restorative Justice Community Action

Just moved into the neighborhood, or looking for some assistance? Here are a few links that may be helpful:

Community safety resources

Neighborhood Revitalization Program

The commercial center of the neighborhood is located on Nicollet Avenue, where several restaurants, social service agencies and schools, and retail merchants operate.  Minor commercial hubs include Franklin Avenue and the Clinton Avenue strip mall.