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Fannie M. Jacques Collection of John S. Bradstreet Material

Identifier: M/A 0010

Description of Contents

Two boxes. John S. Bradstreet's personal papers include a scrapbook, business correspondence, lecture notes, business advertisements, articles and clippings detailing his career as an interior decorator and furniture designer, and related material.

The scrapbook contains letters, photographs, and ephemera from his work and international travels, particularly to Japan. The photographs are mainly interior and exterior shots of his business, the Craftshouse.

There is no folder 7 in box 1.


  • Creation: 1886 - 1994



The physical collection is available for use in Special Collections at Minneapolis Central Library during the department’s open hours. Photographs from this collection are available in the Small Collections in the Hennepin County Library Digital Collections.


John Bradstreet was born in Rowley, MA on December 14, 1845. He died in on August 10, 1914 following injuries sustained in a car accident, at age 69.

William Bradford, second governor of Plymouth Colony, was his great grandfather (he landed in America in 1613). Bradstreet attended Putnam Academy in Newburyport, MA before starting to work at Gorham, the silver manufacturer in Rhode Island. On John Bradstreet's arrival in Minneapolis in 1873, the city had about 25,000 residents, was barely 20 years old, and had just recently been connected to Chicago via rail. James J. Hill hadn’t yet built the connection to the Pacific Ocean. Bradstreet chose Minnesota for health reasons, as he had tuberculosis.

For the next 40 years, Bradstreet was an arbiter of good taste, cultivating residential and commercial clients of the elite social strata of the Northwest. Following his death, part of his collection of pictures and art objects and his "office" were willed to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Minneapolis Journal, August 16, 1914). He helped found the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which opened in 1915. Eighty years later, according to Linda Mack writing in the Star Tribune (6/19/1994), page 8F, the "Institute even de-accessioned his office, which Bradstreet had donated upon his death in 1914."

Civic activities included: • Member: Minneapolis Park Board (Board of Park Commissioners, 1901-1907). With Thomas Lowry, designed “The Parade” which eventually became the Walker Sculpture Garden • Founded first Municipal Arts Commission in Minneapolis • Founder, Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts • Founder, Skylight Club (at outset, secretive, 35 member, invitation only club) (Minneapolis Morning Tribune) • Member, Asiatic Society of London, End of the Earth Club of New York, National Arts Club of New York • A founder of the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts in 1883 (which spawned the Mpls Art School and ultimately, MCAD) • Helped found the Minikahda and Lafayette Clubs • Bachelor’s Club, of which he was the first president

Major residential projects include: • Edmund G. Walton House (1893)/ 802 Mount Curve Avenue, Minneapolis • E.J. Phelps / 2323 Park Avenue, Minneapolis • George Daggett House / 40 Groveland Terrace, Minneapolis • Prindle House, Duluth (1905) • Glensheen (Congdon Mansion), Duluth furniture purchased by Michael Conforti for the MIA, per Barbara Flanagan (MPL staff memo 1983 from Burke to Kimbrough). Congdon Mansion’s breakfast room and smoking room done by Bradstreet

Commercial and residential clients include: • S.T. McKnight • Pillsbury family members • W.G. Northrop • W.D. Washburn • T.B. Walker • O. C. Wyman • The Grain Exchange office interiors • State House (Capitol in St. Paul, MN) • Cathedral (St. Paul) • Council Chamber of Minneapolis City Hall • Minneapolis Club, Main Dining Room • Schubert Theatre • Churches • Hotels • Minneapolis’ Grand Opera House

Department stores • Donaldson’s Department Store Tea Room, Gentleman’s Café, Dutch Room, Ivory Room, Gothic Room, Japanese Room, and Silver Grey Room. Milling companies • Peavey & Co. (when Frank Peavey died, Bradstreet was an honorary pall bearer) • Charles E. Lewis & Co. • Watson & Co.

Insurance: • Architects & Engineers Building (subsequently known as Security Life Insurance Co.), 1200 Second Avenue South


1.96 Linear Feet (1 box and 1 scrapbook)

Language of Materials


Donor Information

Newspaper columnist A. J. Russell

Related Materials in Hennepin County Library Special Collections

See also this book, which contains a chapter on Bradstreet, in the Special Collections, Minneapolis Collection:

Art and Life on the Upper Mississippi, 1890-1915 N6530.M6M56 1994.

See also, Minneapolis Collection, Subject files, Houses: Dickey, Alfred E.

See also photographs in the Minneapolis Photo Collection.

Fannie M. Jacques Collection of John S. Bradstreet Material
Christopher G. Welter, Revised by Marsha Collins. Additions by Jenna Jacobs in November 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.