Weather Forecast


Alexandria receives legacy grant for historic context study

The Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) awarded a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant in the amount of $7,000 to the city of Alexandria to fund the research and drafting of a historic context study of the city.

Historic context studies describe the broad patterns of historical development in a community. Context studies have been called the cornerstone of historic preservation because other historic preservation projects require the understanding of how historic buildings and sites played a part in the development of a community as examined in context studies.

Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage grants are made possible by the Minnesota Legislature from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund created with passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution in November 2008. The grants are awarded to support projects of enduring value for the cause of history and historic preservation across the state.

"Decisions about the identification, evaluation, registration and treatment of historic properties are best made when the relationship of individual properties to other properties within the city are understood through a historic context study," explained Mike Weber, Alexandria's city planner.

Two historic preservation firms, Smith and Main and MacDonald and Mack Architects, will complete the historic context study for the city.

Smith and Main is a historic preservation planning firm that specializes in downtown economic development. MacDonald and Mack Architects was named the 2011 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Minnesota Firm of the Year.

Residents and business owners are encouraged to send in any stories about people, events or buildings that have played an important role in the historical development of Alexandria. Historic stories can be sent to Mike Weber, city planner, by mail or e-mail, or mailed to Patrick Smith at 400 South 4th Street, #712, Minneapolis, MN 55415.

The MHS is a nonprofit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The MHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota's past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing.