1382 Willow St., Minneapolis, MN 55403
Phone: 612 370-4929
Fax: 612 871-6854
Loring Park's edge-of-downtown location made it a stage for the unfolding urban drama during the 20th century. In 1906 active and programmed recreation was just beginning to be seen as a legitimate use of public park space. In a gesture that would reinforce the trend, Charles Loring, the original driving force behind the Minneapolis park system, donated the Loring shelter, effectively giving his blessing to the broadening of public park use.
Built in the Spanish mission style with its roughcast exterior finish and Spanish red tile roof, it was characterized as an “imposing and costly pavilion” in the Park Board of Commissioners’ 1906 Annual Report.
The original 2,100 sq. ft. building was enlarged by the WPA in 1937 to include two offices and storage space. In the 1970s, threatened demolition of the shelter mobilized a grass roots effort to save the building, and it was instead renovated.
Through its various remodeling projects over the years, the building accumulated a total of three ceilings, the last of which was placed below the tops of the graceful arched windows and could actually be seen from outside the building.
Since adopting the Loring Park Master Plan in 1996, the MPRB has been implementing it in segments as funds become available. The shelter building renovation project realizes another component of the plan, providing the neighborhood with much-needed meeting space and lending itself to the performing arts as well.
The building is accessible to all and includes a 1,200 sq. ft. vaulted-ceiling addition; a remodeled lobby with a re-exposed beam ceiling; an office for the park director; air conditioning; and new kitchen equipment. Remodeled restrooms have both interior and exterior entries so they can be used when the building is closed.
From the outside, it is impossible to tell where the original building ends and the addition begins. The tall, arched windows and other architectural details of the addition duplicate the original. The new cream-colored, stucco-like finish was applied to the old sections of the building along with the new, giving it a seamless look.
Inside the new addition, the hardwood floor, high ceilings, and 12 new windows create a light and airy atmosphere. A specially textured ceiling and cloth-covered panels on the walls successfully minimize the echo effect so common in rooms of this size.
This beautiful facility is available for private rentals including weddings, receptions, private or corporate events. Call the community center at 612-370-4929 for more information.
Loring Park memorial artwork receives Minneapolis Arts Commission award
Recreation Fee Assistance: Minneapolis residents who cannot afford instructional fees because of economic need may apply for fee assistance.
Historical Profile: More information about this and other parks is included in Parks, Lakes, Trails and So Much More, a richly detailed account of the histories of Minneapolis’ renowned recreational system.
|This facility is located in: Loring Park|