Grain Exchange

You can read about the history and designation of the Grain Exchange historic landmark.

Chamber of Commerce Building – Interior and Exterior




Address: 400-412 4 th Street South

Neighborhood: Downtown West

Construction Date: 1900-1902, 1909, 1928

Contractor: Unknown

Architect: Kees and Colburn, Long and Lamoreaux

Architectural Style: Chicago Commercial/Renaissance Revival

Historic Use: Commercial

Current Use: Commercial

Date of Local Designation: 1977

Date of National Designation: 1977

Area(s) of Significance: Architecture; Commerce

Period of Significance: 1902-1944

Historic Profile: Constructed between 1900 and 1902, designs for the Minneapolis Grain Exchange were heavily influenced by Louis Sullivan’s large-scale commercial/office buildings. In addition to being recognized as one of the first buildings in Minneapolis to make use of the steel frame for its interior structural system, the Grain Exchange is also considered to be one of the most dignified turn-of-the-century office buildings in design, proportion, and terra cotta ornamentation. It is a U-shaped, ten-story brick, terra-cotta and granite building, reminiscent of Louis Sullivan’s Wainwright Building in St. Louis. Historically, the Grain Exchange was organized in Minneapolis in 1881 to deal with the increasing development and progress of the Minnesota grain market. In 1884, the first Grain Exchange building was constructed immediately to the north of the site of the present building. Increasing demands, which resulted in the status of Minnesota as the "largest primary wheat market in the world" by 1900, necessitated the construction of a larger facility. In 1909, the East Annex addition was designed and built according to the plans of Long and Lamoreaux, and again in 1928 an addition was built to the north.

Photo Credits:

2006, Minneapolis CPED

1953, activity of the Grain Exchange floor, courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society

Works Cited:

"National Register of Historic Places – Nomination Form," December 1976.

Updated: February 2007

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