“The Flats” (300-314 ¼ 26th Avenue North)– exterior
Address: 300-314 ½ 26 th Avenue North
Construction Date: 1885
Contractor: Union Stone & Building Company
Architect: W.D. Kimball
Historic Use: Private Residences
Current Use: Private Residences
Date of Local Designation: 1984
Date of National Designation: N/A
Area of Significance: Architecture
Period of Significance: 1885-
Historic Profile: In 1885, real estate entrepreneur, William N. Holway, formed the Union Stone and Building Company in Minneapolis. Their largest contribution to the city was a cluster of concrete block homes and rowhouses on the North Side of Minneapolis along 3rd and 4th Streets and 26th Avenue North. Seven houses as well as an eleven unit rowhouse remain as examples of the very early use of concrete block as an artistic architectural material. In her article “Early Development of the Artistic Concrete Block,” Ann Gillespie states that the introduction of pre-cast concrete into North America occurred in the late 1860s. Even though the new building material offered the advantages of being easily formed to resemble natural stone at a considerably lower price, the widespread use of concrete blocks in residential structures was never widely embraced. The community developed by William Holway is an exception. Although the buildings were designed by individual architects, they all share similar stylistic elements — two-and-one-half-stories featuring side hall plans, rectangular fenestration, and roofs of the multi-gabled variety with ornamented primary façade dormers. All of the remaining houses, with the exception of one, have retained their original concrete exteriors. Like the houses, this building, which consists of eleven rowhouses, has retained its original exterior.
1936, courtesy of Marjorie Benson
2006, CPED Staff
City of Minneapolis, "National Register of Historic Places – Nomination Form," 1982.
CPED Files, 1987-2006