Franklin Branch Library

You can read about the history and designation of the Franklin Branch Library into a historic landmark.




Address: 1314 Franklin Avenue East

Neighborhood: Ventura Village

Construction Date: 1914

Contractor: Unknown

Architect: Edward L. Tilton

Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival

Historic Use: Public - Library Branch

Current Use: Public - Library Branch

Date of Local Designation: 1997

Date of National Register Designation: 2000

Area(s) of Significance: Social history; significant person; architecture

Period of Significance: 1914 -

Historic Profile: During the years Minneapolis struggled to accommodate a rapidly growing immigrant population, -- the Franklin Avenue branch of the Minneapolis Public Library system played an important role as a neighborhood and educational center. For many years, it housed the largest collection of Scandinavian books, magazines and newspapers in the city, which largely reflected the population of the area. Franklin was one of 13 branches established under the leadership of Gratia Countryman, the Chief Librarian from 1904 to 1936. Noted as the first woman librarian responsible for a system the size of that in Minneapolis’, it was her mission to bring people closer to books. Funded by the Carnegie Corporation and designed by Edward L. Tilton, a New York City architect known for his library and public building designs, the Franklin Library was a departure from the prevalent style in the Phillips neighborhood.

Photo Credits:

1914, Charles Hibbard, courtesy of The Minnesota Historical Society

2006, Minneapolis CPED

Works Cited:

"City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission Registration Form," May 1996.

Contact us

Community Planning & Economic Development

Historic Preservation




Public Service Center
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 320
Minneapolis, MN 55415