Source: City of Minneapolis Bancroft neighborhood profile
His bio as written on the Minnesota Election Trends website:
Founder and originator of this website, Neal Baxter has roots in Minnesota back to the mid-1850s. His relations first settled in Minneapolis in the 1870s. He was moved to begin collecting material on the politics of Minneapolis while researching his great-grandfather, John G. Robb, who was an alderman.
Neal began collecting information on topics that interested him soon after learning to write. A compulsive listest, he first compiled lists of animals he knew about; later Neal's imagination reached into historical time, music in a variety of styles, geography, politics and language. Poetry baffles him. Neal has a good memory for data, but none for narrative.
Neal has performed as a listest in venues around Minneapolis. He has a Luddite sensibility, and walks everywhere. You may have seen him.
The below tour highlights were written by Neal Baxter and edited by Janelle Nivens. Some of the highlights do not have accompanying photos but were published so that you can view them as you walk or bike through the neighborhood on your own.
We met our Bancroft tour guide at his home where Jessica, former Organizer for Bancroft Neighborhood Association, welcomed us to the neighborhood. Jessica recently left the association to pursue other opportunities.
We walked south on 12th Avenue past the lovely gardens at 3820, 3824 and 3840. The front yard of Yvette & Joakim’s house at 3829 12th Ave South has a lovely sculpture.
We continued west on 39th, look at 3908 11th Avenue South, a lovely old house. Charles Young’s grocery store was at 1111 E. 39th Street in the 1930s.
The first plot settled in Bancroft by Alberta & Georgia Swift and family from 1886 is 3841 10th Avenue South.
Back on 39th Street, turn into Elliot, where 3915 dates from 1895 (possibly the neighborhood’s oldest house in existence), then continue toward Chicago Avenue.
Calvary Lutheran Church shares its space with Urban Arts Academy:
Urban Arts Academy is a nonprofit organization that offers arts education programs to children and families in South Minneapolis through preschool, after school, and summer arts programs.
We believe that every child has the right to art.
South of Lake Farmers Market
Thursdays, 4–7 p.m.
July 14–September 29, 2011 Calvary Lutheran Church 3901 Chicago Ave South
In addition to the Farmer’s Market, 3901 Chicago Avenue South is home to an Urban Farming Community Garden. Urban Farming is a national organization with the mission:
...to create an abundance of food for people in need by planting, supporting and encouraging the establishment of gardens on unused land and space while increasing diversity, raising awareness for health and wellness, inspiring and educating youth, adults and seniors to create an economically sustainable system to uplift communities around the globe.
On the corner of 10th Avenue (3952 10th Avenue), see another church. This was built in 1900 as Nazarene English Lutheran Church. In 1956 it became Church of the New Covenant. Fountain of Life Gospel Church has used the building since about 2000; at 3945 10th Avenue, see the fine old house, built 1891.
commissioner from 2007 to 2011.
The area north of us (Chicago -12th Avenues and 38th-40th Streets) was the first part of Bancroft to be platted and built up. In other words, these few acres are the oldest in the neighborhood. Most of the houses south of 40th Street were built after World War II, long after the northern half of Bancroft.
Continue beyond 13th Avenue, noting as you cross 13th that west of it, Bancroft’s children attended Central High, and east of it children went to South, back when children attended neighborhood schools. Approaching 14th Avenue, note that Clyde Bellecourt, a founder of the American Indian Movement, lives in the vicinity.
At 40th Street & 14th Avenue South, we find the lovely Bush Terrace condos, which were built on the site of Bush Nursery in 1962. Bush Nursery was founded by Guy D. Bush in 1922. Bush lived at 3948 15th Avenue South from 1912 on, and operated out of his lot there for 10 years before opening the Nursery across 40th Street.
We talked with the Executive Director about the mission and future for El Colegio. She said that people often make the mistake of thinking that El Colegio is a credit recovery school and recently the community has worked hard to increase the promotion of the school’s achievements.
Every year, El Colegio helps celebrate the Day of the Dead with an event that includes a procession from Lake Street to El Colegio. The vision for the future is to be a Latino community center where people can learn to dance, take evening classes, volunteer for language ESL, quilting classes as well as many other activities and events of interest to the community. There will be a sacred space for aztec dances, a soccer field, and a community garden on the land to the north of the school.
At 3152 17th Avenue South is Bethel Lutheran, built in 1955. The church was built on land still vacant at that late date. Note that Bethel hosts the offices of the Bancroft Neighborhood Association.
In 2012, construction should begin on the Southern Bicycle Connection which will run along 17th Avenue in the Bancroft neighborhood. The Southern Bicycle Connection is a north-south bicycle boulevard that will start at 24th Street and travel South, connecting Minneapolis to Richfield. The bicycle boulevard will go south along 17th Avenue from 24th Street to Minnehaha Parkway, then divert to other streets.
At 40th and 18th Avenue we reach the highest point in the neighborhood, and the view is quite nice from here! For an equally dramatic view to the east, walk over to Cedar & 40th Street.
Down hill, at 17th Avenue & 40th Street, the two bike routes will intersect after the Southern is built in 2012.
North on 17th toward 39th Street at 3808 we find the newest house in Bancroft, built in 2010 to replace a house that was destroyed. This newly constructed home remains unoccupied.
We proceed along 39th again, to 3852 Bloomington, where lived Alderman John Swanson, City Council member from 1927 to 1939.
Continue to Bancroft School, at 38th between 13th & 14th Avenues, by walking through the schoolyard. The open field makes a wonderful spot to gaze at the stars and visit with neighbors. The school opened here in October 1911 as a temporary space. The present splendid edifice dates from 1912. Named for American historian George Bancroft. An earlier school named Bancroft sat from 18751896 where former Simmons School now is, at 3800 Minnehaha Avenue. In the spring and summer, take a look at the lovely flowers in the middle of the block along 13th Avenue, from your vantage point in the schoolyard.
Bancroft Neighborhood Association Facebook page
City of Minneapolis Bancroft neighborhood profile
Minnesota Compass neighborhood data -- Bancroft
Bancroft six word stories
All photos from the Bancroft neighborhood tour