American Institute of Architects


Photo by Samuel Lokensgard
Photo by Samuel Lokensgard
Photo by Samuel Lokensgard
Blue Ribbon Building
Register of Historic Places
HPC Award 1999
Salvage Corps No. 2
Historic Renovation
528-530 University Ave SE
Minneapolis, Minnesota

A forgotten but historic fire station was gutted, revitalized, and is now re-used by new tenants. The award-winning project supports the City of Minneapolis' plan for mixing of new and old, more imaginative functions for buildings in and near the city's core. Dunn Bros. Coffee, Restaurant Alma, and a sculpture studio were also designed.

This building was reduced, reused, and recycled: The original Salvage Corps Station No. 2 was built in 1905. When the Salvage Corps left in 1911, it was used by the YMCA. In 1920 the building was converted to a factory for the WC Wood Tire Patches Co. The owner, Winfield Wood, was the brother of Garfield Wood, the internationally famous speedboat racer who set world records during the 1920s and 1930s. Gar invented the hydraulic lift which produced great wealth to pursue his hobby of speedboat racing. In 1927, the Minneapolis Journal announced that a $10,000 one-story addition was to be built to house a speedboat factory. (Now Restaurant Alma.) In 1956, the building was converted to an office and frozen food plant for Blue Ribbon Foods, which occupied the building for thirtysome years.

Then, my client bought it. We gutted and demolished, designed and renovated, and more "new" tenants came. Rolf Lokensgard Architecture received a Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission & Minneapolis Chapter of the AIA 1999 Heritage Preservation Award for Adaptive Reuse.

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