Photo by Becca Sabot
Dinkytown, Minneapolis in 2015
The University of Minnesota’s East Bank has undergone some substantive transformations the last few years. The Green Line reconfigured Washington Avenue, TCF Bank Stadium has redefined the campus’s eastern limits, and the new Surly Brewery looms on the outskirts.
But as redevelopment creeps closer to Dinkytown, the nonprofit Preserve Historic Dinkytown has led the call to help protect the Twin Cities’ one-time counterculture hub. And, thanks to unanimous votes from the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission and, subsequently, the Minneapolis City Council, 29 buildings built between 1899 and 1929 in a four-block area near Dinkytown’s epicenter—at 4th and 14th—have earned commercial historic designation. The goal of this new classification is to ensure that, in the era of high-rise condos and other mixed-use developments, Dinkytown remains, well, dinky.