Hosmer Library

You can read about the history and designation of the Hosmer Library historic landmark.


The Hosmer Library is one of the first libraries in the city, built to serve the Central neighborhood. 

  • Location: 347 36th Street East 
  • Neighborhood: Central







  • Architectural Style: Tudor Revival
  • Architects: Henry D. Whitefield


  • Historic use: Institutional
  • Current use: Institutional


  • Construction date: 1916
  • Contractor: James H. Brown and Co.


  • Areas of significance: Social History; Education; Architecture; Significant Individual
  • Period of significance: 1916–1996
  • Date of local designation: 1997
  • Date of National Register designation: 2000
  • Designation: Exterior

Historic profile

The Hennepin Theatre is a grand downtown entertainment venue with ornate interiors. 

The Orpheum Circuit opened the Hennepin in 1921. At the time, it was the second-largest vaudeville theater in the country. Major acts such as George Jessel, Jack Benny, and "Dainty June" Havoc performed there. When talking motion pictures replaced vaudeville in the 1930s, live orchestra became the Hennepin's primary entertainment. By the late 1950s, it was Broadway shows. Today's visitors enjoy a variety of music, theatre, meetings, and public service events.   

Kirchhoff and Rose designed this Beaux Arts style theater. The building layout includes a two-story lobby attached to a seven-story auditorium. The theater follows a gold, cream, and pale blue color scheme. There are wide arched doorways, terrazzo and carpet, chandeliers, and sculpted plaster ceilings. The auditorium has a high dome ceiling, curved floor seating, balcony boxes, red velvet curtains, and gold garland. The stage bends toward the audience.  

It is the largest surviving theater of its kind in the area. The original marquee on the theater was first replaced in 1933 from "Hennepin" to "Orpheum." The marquee was replaced again in 1948, and the Orpheum name remained. This is why the theater is called both names. 


Photo credit

  • 1920 photo: Courtesy of Minneapolis Public Libraries 
  • 2006 photo: Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development

Work cited

  • Garneth O. Peterson, "City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission Registration Form: Hosmer Branch Library,” December 1996
  • Susan Granger and Kay Grossman, "National Register of Historic Places – Registration Form: Thirty-sixth Street Branch Library," December 1998

Contact us

Community Planning & Economic Development

Historic Preservation




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