Architecture of the Prairie: 5 More Gems

A few articles ago, we looked at some hidden gems on Minnesota’s prairie region.  And while Minnesota is best known for its more popular regions like the rugged, coastal-like North Shore, the pine-tree-and-blue-waters Lakes Country, the fast-paced Metropolitan Twin Cities, and the scenic, bluff-lined Southeast, the western 1/3 of the state often gets overlooked.  So here are 5 more hidden gems found on the prairie that must be seen to be believed.

DSC_08995. Brandon City and Fire Hall, Brandon – A beautiful Art Deco gem from the 1930’s, the dazzling Brandon Auditorium and Fire Hall building was a successful project that provided jobs and created a unique building that is still in use today. Read more here.

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4. Abandoned Storefront, Johnson – This old, abandoned structure in the tiny farm town of Johnson (pop. 60) west of Morris, was purportedly built by the same man who built the legendary Stone Barn, Frank Schott.  The building served as a grocery store owned by Jacob Luchsinger in the mid 1900’s, and now sits vacant and boarded up.


3.  Mahnomen City and Fire Hall –  Built under the same guise by the same architects as numbers 5 and 3 on our prior list, the Mahnomen City Hall building was a WPA-building constructed with local fieldstone in 1937. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


IMG_39392. Hewitt Museum, Hewitt – Built in the early 1900’s, the intricately designed Hewitt School was the small town’s main school and later civic building and auditorium for many decades.  In later years, the town consolidated schools with nearby Bertha, and the building became the Hewitt Museum, where it still operates as such today.GREY

1. Grey Eagle City Hall, Grey Eagle- The Emergency Relief Administration, a government program designed to put folks back to work during the Great Depression by building roads, bridges, and buildings, resulted in the magnificent Grey Eagle Village Hall. It was built in 1934 as a joint project between the ERA and the people of Grey Eagle. The beautiful, Art Deco-influenced structure is a marvel in the quiet little town in Todd County, south of Long Prairie.  

On to Part 3!

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