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Historical Research, Inc. Papers on the Federal Reserve Bank Site Selection

Identifier: M/A 0221

Description of Contents

This collection is the research of the company, Historical Research, Inc. It contains articles, documentation, maps, National Register Nomination forms, timelines, and evaluations of buildings and sites. It includes in-depth historical reviews of the sites and businesses over the course of the history of Minneapolis. Also included are photographs and photocopies of photographs of the various sites and buildings. The materials in this collection are a result of the search by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis for a new site upon which to build a new building. The sites they had evaluated include Bridgehead, the Nicollet Hotel, the Warehouse District, the Twin Cities Rapid Transit Co’s steam plant, the Main Street Hydro Electric Station, Berman Buckskin Building and others. The materials are drawn primarily from the collections of the Minneapolis Public Library, Special Collections, the Minnesota Historical Society and the National Archives.

Also includes 15 color slides. Slides appear to be of Warehouse District or St Anthony Falls area (one address is 201 E Hennepin). Photographer is L.A. Boehme. Print photographs were taken by Norene Roberts.


  • 1990 - 1994


Access Restrictions

The collection is available for use in Special Collections during the department's open hours.


Congress established the Federal Reserve in 1913. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis was at first a tenant in a leased space. In 1919 Congress approved the construction of new head office buildings for each of the 12 Federal Reserve districts. The Ninth District Federal Reserve purchased a tract of land at Fifth Street and Marquette Avenue in downtown Minneapolis and selected architect Cass Gilbert, well known for his design of the Minnesota Capitol and St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul. Minneapolis Federal Reserve employees moved into the four-story neoclassical building in 1925.

Banking activity increased during and after World War II, requiring the Fed to lease temporary quarters while plans were made expand its headquarters. An eight-floor addition atop the building was constructed from 1955 to 1957. The modern upper stories with stark, vertical lines stood in contrast to the neoclassical base. Later after the building was sold to National Bank the base was modernized to match the skyscraper addtion. The first building still exists as 510 Marquette at the corner of Marquette Avenue and 5th Street South in Minneapolis, next to the Nicollet Mall station of the Hiawatha light rail line.

The first building served as Ninth District headquarters until 1973, when the bank moved to its second location at 250 Marquette Avenue. The new building at 250 Marquette Avenue, now known as Marquette Plaza was beset by design problems and asbestos contamination. The Federal Reserve chose to sell it and build a new building.

In the early 1990s a search began for a new building site to accomodate more staff and technology. Historical Research Inc. helped research various sites in Minneapolis and created a significant amount of research materials.

The Great Northern Depot was built in and served Minneapolis until March 1st, 1978 when the last passengers left the depot. It was razed by early Fall 1978.

The former site of the Great Northern Depot on the Minneapolis riverfront was finally chosen as the new site for the bank and construction began in Winter of 1994. The new Federal Reserve Bank building was occupied in August of 1997. The cost of the building was $100 million. The bank was designed by Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, St. Louis, Missouri and built by McGough Construction Company, St. Paul, Minnesota. Its address is 90 Hennepin Ave to signify the bank represents the Ninth Federal Reserve District. The Ninth district includes Montana, South and North Dakota, Minnesota, the upper peninsula of Michigan and northern Wisconsin.


5.42 Linear Feet (14 boxes)

Language of Materials


Donor Information

This collection was donated by the president of Historical Research, Inc. in 1994, Dr. Norene Roberts as accession 2000.174.

Related Materials in Hennepin County Library Special Collections

Some materials were removed from the archives and added to other files within the Minneapolis Collection. The materials were filed: see SCMC VF Restaurants: White Castle. See also SCMC M/A 2000.192.01-.07 Historical Research

See also: Dania Hall by the Cedar Riverside Project Area Committee, HT177.M6 C39 1977

Historical Survey of Cedar Riverside by Noreen Davis Roberts, F614.M5R62

Processing Information

Processing began by Norene Roberts continued by JoEllen Haugo, January 2006. Collection boxed and labeled by Norene Roberts. Finding aid prepared by Norene Roberts and JoEllen Haugo. Slides and photographs originally separated from collection and added to uncataloged photos were returned to the collection by Jenna Himsl in August 2018.

Historical Research, Inc. Papers on the Federal Reserve Bank Site Selection
JoEllen Haugo
January 2006
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.