City, Seward looking for neighborhood history


Seward Neighborhood Group (SNG) is asking residents and others to help it dig up some neighborhood history.

SNG’s newly formed History Committee will meet on Wednesday, March 12, at 10:30 a.m. at the SNG office, 2323 E. Franklin Avenue.

SNG has accumulated already a small collection of Seward-specific photographs, articles and memorabilia, for which the committee hopes to find a safe storage place that researchers and interested residents can access easily.

They’re looking to build on that, as well, with donations of historical items ; if you have something to add to the collection, call Dick Westby at 722-2853 or email Bernie Waibel at Items can also be photographed and then returend to the owner.

SNG’s look back coincides with an effort by the City of Minneapolis to study historic buildings and sites in Seward, Longfellow Cooper, Howe, and Hiawatha neighborhoods, reports Ward 9 Council Member Gary Schiff in a recent newsletter.

The survey will identify properties that may be eligible for historic designation and will help influence future economic development efforts, wrote Schiff. Currently, only a handful of properties and one historic area — the Milwaukee Avenue Historic District — are designated by the city as historic on The Bridge coverage area’s south end.

Schiff highlighted the importance of historic preservation to the city’s economic development efforts. “The best developments in recent years have centered around historic buildings like the old Sears building on Lake Street or mill buildings near the riverfront,” he stated in the newsletter. “Preserving unique buildings that tell our history can bring private investment and revitalize a neighborhood.”

The studies are a part of an effort by the city to survey all Minneapolis neighborhoods within five years. The surveys are possible thanks to grants from the State of Minnesota, wrote Schiff.

You find more information about historic preservation or see an interactive map of landmark buildings and districts on the city’s Heritage Preservation Commission website.