University of Minnesota - Minneapolis Campus Walking Tour (Self Guided), Minneapolis

The University of Minnesota is a public research university in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & Saint Paul. Respectively, its campus is located in these two neighboring cities. Founded in 1851, seven years before Minnesota became a state, this is one of the largest universities in the U.S., with over 50,000 enrolled students.

This self-guided tour takes you to explore the UM Minneapolis grounds sitting on the bank of the Mississippi River. On this walk you will visit the key educational facilities, as well as a number of historical buildings on the Minneapolis campus.
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University of Minnesota - Minneapolis Campus Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: University of Minnesota - Minneapolis Campus Walking Tour
Guide Location: USA » Minneapolis (See other walking tours in Minneapolis)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 13
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Author: ChristineS
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Coffman Memorial Union
  • Northrop Mall
  • Walter Library
  • Northrop Auditorium
  • Eddy Hall
  • Burton Hall
  • Folwell Hall
  • Pillsbury Hall
  • University of Minnesota Armory
  • Williams Arena
  • TCF Bank Stadium
  • McNamara Alumni Center
  • Malcolm Moos Health Sciences Tower
1
Coffman Memorial Union

1) Coffman Memorial Union

Coffman Memorial Union (commonly known as Coffman Union or simply Coffman) is a student union on the East Bank campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Situated near the Mississippi River, Coffman anchors the south end of Northrop Mall, a grassy area at the center of campus.

Coffman Memorial Union was built between 1939 and 1940 as a new "center of social life" for the University of Minnesota campus, a role that had previously been filled by Shevlin Hall and Nicholson Hall in the Old Campus Historic District. Designed by architect Clarence H. Johnston Jr, the new building opened in September 1940 and was dedicated on October 25th of the same year. It was named in memory of Lotus D. Coffman, President of the University of Minnesota between 1920 and 1938.

The building hosts a variety of services including the University of Minnesota Bookstore, Minnesota Marketplace Food Court, US Postal Service, IT Student Lab, administration services, and student group services. While the main lounge and theater are located on the main floor of the building, the lower level offers access to the bookstore, Great Hall, and several dining options. The basement features the Whole Music Club and an entertainment center called Goldy's Gameroom (which also features a bowling alley).

The building's upper floors are largely reserved for student and administration use, with student groups occupying much of the second floor. The fourth floor is home to the Campus Club, a member-based dining and event venue primarily used by faculty and alumni.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Northrop Mall

2) Northrop Mall

Northrop Mall, or the Mall area, is arguably the center of the Minneapolis campus. The plan for the Mall was based on a design by Cass Gilbert, although his scheme was too extravagant to be fully implemented. Several of the campus's primary buildings surround the Mall area. Northrop, formerly known as Northrop Auditorium, provides a northern anchor, with Coffman Memorial Union (CMU) to the south. Four of the larger buildings to the sides of the Mall are the primary mathematics, physics, and chemistry buildings (Vincent Hall, Tate Laboratory and Smith Hall, respectively) and Walter Library.

The Mall area is home to the College of Liberal Arts, which is Minnesota's largest public or private college, and the College of Science and Engineering. Behind CMU is another residence hall, Comstock Hall, and another student-apartment complex, Yudof Hall. The Northrop Mall Historic District was formally listed in the National Register of Historic Places in January 2018.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Walter Library

3) Walter Library

Walter Library is an academic library located on the East Bank campus of the University of Minnesota. It currently houses the College of Science and Engineering Library and Dean's Office, the Digital Technology and Digital Media Centers, the Learning Resources Center, and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute. Walter Library is situated along Northrop Mall.

Walter Library was built between 1923 and 1924 for a total cost of $1.4 million. Designed by Minnesota State Architect Clarence H. Johnston, the building served as the university's primary library for much of the twentieth century. The library was named in honor of Frank Keller Walter in 1959. Walter, who had participated in the planning of the library, was the University of Minnesota Librarian from 1921 to 1943.

Walter Library was formally listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing property to the Northrop Mall Historic District in January 2018.

Walter Library was designed in the Beaux-Arts style of architecture by Minnesota State Architect Clarence H. Johnston, Sr. Like the other buildings on Northrop Mall, Walter Library features a red brick facade with Bedford limestone trim and a colonnaded Ionic Order portico. Its interiors feature ornate columns and pilasters, marble staircases, vaulted ceilings, and gold leaf gilding. A common motif found within the library is that of an owl, which represents both wisdom and knowledge.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Northrop Auditorium

4) Northrop Auditorium

Cyrus Northrop Memorial Auditorium (commonly known as Northrop Auditorium or simply Northrop) is a performing arts venue at the University of Minnesota. It is named in honor of Cyrus Northrop, the university's second president. Various events are held within the building, including concerts, ballet performances, lectures, and graduations.

Northrop anchors the north end of Northrop Mall. Coffman Memorial Union sits at the south end of the mall, opposite Northrop across Washington Avenue.

Northrop Auditorium was built between 1928 and 1929 as part of a major university expansion project. An auditorium had been part of Cass Gilbert's plan for Northrop Mall dating back to 1908, but it wasn't until 1922, when Cyrus Northrop died, that the university took serious interest in the project. Northrop Auditorium was dedicated both as a memorial to Cyrus Northrop and to the veterans of World War I.

Since its construction, Northrop has been frequently used for a variety of university functions. The auditorium was purportedly designed in 1929 to seat the entire student population in the event of mass assembly. It became the primary venue for university graduations when it hosted its first graduating class in 1930.

Dance has been a part of Northrop's programming since Mary Wigman first performed on its stage in 1932. However, it was not until the 1970s that it became Northrop's signature marketing niche. The Northrop Dance Season debuted in 1970-1971 and continues to the present day. The size of Northrop's stage makes it one of the only facilities in the region capable of accommodating major dance productions.
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Eddy Hall

5) Eddy Hall

The oldest building within the district, as well as the oldest extant building on the Minneapolis campus. Originally built as the Mechanic Arts building, it was designed by Minneapolis architect LeRoy S. Buffington. Executed in the Queen Anne mode, the building is three stories in height on a high basement; a square tower at the northwest corner dominates the entry. The building is constructed of red brick with red sandstone trim. It is essentially rectangular in plan. Dominant features include the multi-gabled roof, high double-hung windows, panels of patterned brick, and iron cresting with weather vane on the tower.

Erected at a cost of $30,000 in 1886, the building received a $10,000 addition in 1903. The building originally housed the Mathematics, Drawing, Civil-Municipal-Structural Engineering departments, as well as testing laboratories. The Mechanic Arts building was eventually renamed Eddy Hall in honor of Henry Turner Eddy, former professor of Engineering and Mathematics and later Dean of the Graduate School.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Burton Hall

6) Burton Hall

Named in honor of university president Miriam Burton, it was the main library building on campus until Walter Library opened in 1924. Before Burton Hall was built, the library collection was housed in Old Main. A series of fires in Old Main convinced the Board of Regents that a new, fireproof building was needed. President William Watts Folwell first consulted with LeRoy Buffington on a library design, but the Regents overruled him.

After much debate between the Regents and the faculty, the design was eventually finalized. In an act of compromise, the exterior was designed by Buffington in a severe Greek Revival style and the interior was designed by Charles Sedgwick in a rather ornate Victorian style. The building originally included an assembly hall which doubled as a chapel. The building is currently home to the College of Education and Human Development.
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Folwell Hall

7) Folwell Hall

Designed in the Jacobethan Revival style by Minnesota State Architect Clarence H. Johnston, it was built to house departments displaced after the burning of Old Main in 1904. These included the Pedagogy, Oratory, and Psychology departments, as well as the Alumni Magazine, German Museum, Gopher Yearbook, and Minnesota Daily. It is now home to a majority of the university's foreign language departments.

The building, which received an extensive rehabilitation in 2012, is considered one of the most elaborate on campus. Its exterior features carved brick detailing, balustrades, parapets, gargoyles, and many chimneys. Interior features include polished marble hallways, fireplaces, and ornate staircases.

Folwell Hall is named in honor of William Watts Folwell, the first president of the University of Minnesota.
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Pillsbury Hall

8) Pillsbury Hall

Originally known as Science Hall, it was renamed in honor of Governor John S. Pillsbury during construction. Harvey Ellis was responsible for the Richardsonian Romanesque details of the design. Though Ellis was inspired by the aesthetic of Henry Hobson Richardson, the building also contains elements of the Prairie School, Arts and Crafts, Gothic, and Victorian styles.

The building is built with two different colors of sandstone. The buff-colored sandstone is from quarries near Banning State Park, while the red sandstone is from the Fond du Lac formation. The clay tile roof and copper eaves serve to protect the sandstone from the infiltration of water, and they also add to the appearance of the building.

Reflecting its earthen architectural elements, the building housed the Newton Horace Winchell School of Earth Sciences until 2017.
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
University of Minnesota Armory

9) University of Minnesota Armory

The University of Minnesota Armory was constructed in 1896 after the previous space for military training on the campus burnt in a fire in 1894. The facility served as the primary home for the Minnesota Golden Gophers men's basketball team as well as the University of Minnesota Marching Band after its construction. The basketball team moved to the Kenwood Armory in Downtown Minneapolis in 1925 while the band moved to the newly completed Music Education Building in 1922.

The Armory was also the facility used for the University of Minnesota physical education department until 1935. The school's football team played some of their early games on the open field next to the Armory. It is a contributing property in the University of Minnesota Old Campus Historic District.

Currently, it is used as the classrooms and office space of the University's three ROTC units, and offices for the University's program for High School students, with the gymnasium being available for campus activities.
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Williams Arena

10) Williams Arena

Williams Arena is the home arena for the University of Minnesota's men's and women's basketball teams. It also housed the men's hockey team until 1993, when it moved into its own building, Mariucci Arena. The building is known as "The Barn", and its student section is known as "The Barnyard".

Williams Arena is located on the U of M's East Bank campus. It is in a neighborhood called Stadium Village, named for the old Memorial Stadium that stood there until its demolition in 1992. The arena is adjacent to TCF Bank Stadium, Mariucci Arena, and Ridder Arena, where the football and hockey teams respectively play.

Initially known as the Minnesota Field House, Williams Arena was constructed in the 1920s and opened in 1928.The arena was remodeled in 1950, and renamed Williams Arena after Dr. Henry L. Williams, the football coach from 1900 to 1921.

As part of the 1950 renovation, it was divided into two separate arenas within one building—a larger one for basketball and a smaller one for hockey. Both arenas were called Williams Arena until March 2, 1985, when the hockey section was renamed Mariucci Arena after longtime Gopher hockey coach John Mariucci. The hockey team moved into a new building across the street from Williams in 1993, also named Mariucci Arena. The old Mariucci Arena within Williams was remodeled into the Sports Pavilion, now the Maturi Pavilion, named for former University of Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi in August 2017, which houses the volleyball, wrestling, and gymnastic teams.

The building has an arched roof, in the same manner as an airplane hangar. The double arch steel beams allows an open space for the bleachers and floor. There are some seats with partially obscured views due to the upper deck extending past the trusses.

Williams Arena features an unusual raised floor design. The court surface is raised above the ground approximately two feet so that players' benches, officials tables, etc., are actually below the court. The same goes for fans with the first row looking at players at about knee-level. Normally, other than the officials and those players actively playing, only head coaches are allowed to be on the court itself. The raised floor is one of only a few remaining examples left and contributes significantly to the historic aura of the 90-year-old arena.
Sight description based on wikipedia
11
TCF Bank Stadium

11) TCF Bank Stadium

TCF Bank Stadium is an outdoor stadium located on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Opened in 2009, it is the home field of the Minnesota Golden Gophers of the Big Ten Conference, and was the temporary home of Minnesota United FC of Major League Soccer. The stadium also served as the temporary home of the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League for the 2014 and 2015 seasons during the construction of U.S. Bank Stadium.

TCF Bank Stadium also boasts the largest home locker room in college or professional football and one of the largest video boards in the nation.

The 50,805-seat stadium cost $303.3 million to build and is designed to support future expansion to seat up to 80,000. The stadium is a horseshoe-style stadium which organizers said would have a "traditional collegiate look and feel". On December 7, 2006, the university announced that the stadium's field would be laid out in an unorthodox east–west configuration, with the open west end of the stadium facing campus. This layout, similar to that of Memorial Stadium, provides a view of downtown Minneapolis.
Sight description based on wikipedia
12
McNamara Alumni Center

12) McNamara Alumni Center

The McNamara Alumni Center is one of the more architecturally striking buildings in the Twin Cities. The building, opened in 2000, contains two main components: University office space and 10 meeting rooms for University and public use.

The landmark building occupies land formerly home to Memorial Stadium and its interior features an arch that was once an entrance to the stadium. The building opened in February 2000 and is named for Richard McNamara, a 1956 alumnus of the university and former Gopher football player.

Architect Antoine Predock was chosen in 1996 to design the structure. KKE Architects of Minneapolis served as the project's executive architect and general manager. About 75,000 square feet (7,000 m2) of copper clads the rectangular portion where university offices are located, including those of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association.

With ten versatile rooms, all on the first floor, the center is a popular Minneapolis conference, gala and wedding reception venue. Voted Best Meeting Venue by Minnesota Meetings & Events magazine 2007 to 2012, McNamara has many conveniences, including tunnel connections to an adjacent 500-car parking ramp and hotel, quick highway access and award-winning D’Amico Catering onsite.
Sight description based on wikipedia
13
Malcolm Moos Health Sciences Tower

13) Malcolm Moos Health Sciences Tower

The Malcolm Moos Health Sciences Tower, informally known as the Moos Tower is a building on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis. The building is named for Malcolm Moos, who was president of the University from 1967 to 1974.

Moos Tower is the tallest building on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. It is a noted example of Brutalist architecture. Moos Tower was designed by an architectural collaborative, consisting of Cerny and Associates, HGA, and Setter Leach and Lindstrom in about 1970.

Inside Moos Tower are labs and faculty offices for the College of Dentistry and a Caribou Coffee with a designated study lounge. The entrance of Biomedical library can also be found in Moos Tower.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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