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
Original City Council Chamber.  
The original city council chambers, located on the third floor of the City Hall and Courthouse, was the most elaborately decorated interior when the building opened to the public. Among its extraordinary features was a ceiling that soared overhead with vaults that occupied part of the fifth floor. Minneapolis Police Department Corridor.  
Views of the interior such as this one show how much the building has evolved over a century of use. Because it was the first public building constructed with the entire support resting on the exterior walls, the interior space was and continues to be subject to great change. Grotesque Guarding Elevators.  
41 different grotesques are carved into the columns found around ground floor elevators in the rotunda. About four inches in height, they were mistakenly attributed to Henry Chalker, but later found to be the work of Guwond. Similar faces are found on the exterior of the Masonic Temple at the corner of Hennepin Avenue and Sixth Street. City Hall and Courthouse Office.  
A typical office is shown in this photograph dating around the turn of the 20th-century. Note the rug on the floor and paintings on the walls. What remains today are only the beautifully paneled doors.
See all 24 images.