Historic Photos
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Historic Photos
Construction of the City Hall and Courthouse building was a feat to say the least. Huge blocks of granite -- some weighing as much as 26 tons each -- were transported by train from Ortonville, Minnesota. The downtown Minneapolis landscape also has changed significantly since the building's inception in the late 1800s. As time has passed and events have occurred, the building has endured as a lasting icon for Minneapolis and Hennepin County. Peruse the historic photo archive for a look into the founding and life of the City Hall and Courthouse as well as some close-ups of key building features.


Image Gallery: Historic Photo Archive
Artist's Sketch of Laying of Cornerstone. 
This drawing commemorates the laying of the cornerstone in 1891, one of three celebrations open to the public during the nearly twenty years required to construct the City Hall and Courthouse. Minneapolis, 1857.  
The block on which City Hall and Courthouse stands today was once home to farms, small businesses and even two schoolhouses, such as those pictured in this early photo. In the lower right of the photograph is the Minnesota Democrat, the first newspaper published on the west side of the Mississippi, and a mercantile store.  Clock Tower Bell Carillon.  
Another celebrated feature of the City Hall and Courthouse is the carillon of 15 bells. At the time of installation, they were heralded to be the most finely pitched bells in the nation, if not the world. They are still chimed on all official holidays and other special occasions. Old City Hall.  
The first Minneapolis City Hall was erected in the heart of the Gateway District where Hennepin and Nicollet Avenues converge. Built in the Empire style, it was designed by Long before his partnership with Kees. The flagpole that stood at its main entrance (not pictured) may still be seen today in nearly the same location from over a century ago.
See all 24 images.