Address: 518 First Avenue North and 100/116 Sixth Street North
Neighborhood: Downtown West
Construction date: 1906-1908
Contractor: T. B. Walker
Architect: Harry Wild Jones
Architectural style: Chicago Commercial, Sullivanesque, and Gothic influences
Historic use: Commercial
Current use: Commercial
Date of local designation: Designated in 1973 as a Landmark and in 1978 as a contributing resource in the Minneapolis Warehouse Historic District
Date of National Register Designation: Listed individually in 1971 and in 1989 as a contributing resource in the Minneapolis Warehouse Historic District
Area(s) of significance: Architecture
Period of significance:
The Butler Brothers Company building at 518 1st Avenue North and 100/116 6th Street North is historically significant as a contributing resource in the Minneapolis Warehouse Historic District for its architecture and as the work of the master architect, Harry Wild Jones.
The Butler Brothers Company building is highly emblematic of the turn-of-the-century architecture that defines the Minneapolis Warehouse Historic District. The building was originally built as a nine-story office building and wholesale warehouse and has since been converted to accommodate restaurant and commercial uses. The building measures 170x330’ and occupies half a city block in downtown Minneapolis. Its massive red-brick exterior mimics Gothic architecture in Italy, but also references Louis Sullivan’s “Chicago School” of architecture. The simple brick exterior walls contrast with the other heavily ornamental designs that were popular during the period of its construction.
The Butler Brothers Company building is also historically significant for its association with Harry Wild Jones, a notable Minneapolis-based architect. Born in Michigan, Jones received his architectural education from Brown University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T). After graduating, Jones traveled and studied architecture in France and Italy. When he returned to the United States, he worked as a draftsman for the famous architect, Henry Hobson Richardson. In 1883, he settled in Minneapolis, where he worked for William Channing Whitney and James C. Plant for two years. In 1885 he opened his own architectural office. During his almost fifty years of work, he became one of Minneapolis’ most notable architects and demonstrated expertise in a wide variety of architectural styles. The City of Minneapolis has designated seven of his designs as Landmarks including Calvary Baptist Church, Scottish Rite Temple, Swinford Townhouses/Apartments, Lakewood Memorial Chapel, the Harrington Beard house, the Harry Wild Jones House, and the Washburn Park Water Tower. Jones has two contributing resources to the Minneapolis Warehouse Historic District including the Butler Brothers Company Building and the Lindsay Brothers Building at 400 1st Street North, built in 1895. The Butler Brothers Company Building is one of his most important applications of Gothicism.
1917- Warehouse District Designation Study
2015 – Butler Square
“Minneapolis Warehouse Historic District Designation Study,” 2009.
“National Register of Historic Places Inventory- Nomination Form,” 1971.