The Powderhorn Park neighborhood, on Minneapolis' south side, takes its name from Powderhorn Park lake, a small lake shaped like a powder horn. People gather for cultural activities and large community events in the park. The neighborhood is bound on the north by Lake Street, on the east by Cedar Avenue South, on the south by 38th Street East, and on the west by Chicago Avenue. Powderhorn Park is mainly a residential neighborhood, where single-family houses and narrow residential lots are prevalent. The neighborhood was annexed by the City in 1887 and most of the housing was built by 1920. In 1986 its southern boundary was moved from 36th Street to 38th Street.
Source: City of Minneapolis Neighborhood Profile
Emily Lloyd (@elloyd74) moved to Powderhorn Park from the Washington, DC area in the summer of 2006. She lives with her partner, Teresa, the programming director of the nearby Urban Arts Academy; and their two teenage daughters, Olivia and Isabel. Emily works as a librarian at the public library in Eden Prairie, and writes, teaches and creates art for play.
When asked to describe the culture of Powderhorn Park, Emily said: Powderhorn feels more like home to me than any other place I have lived. It's colorful (lots of murals, and the beautiful bright buildings on Lake Street) and has a laid-back, come-as-you-are vibe. My impression is that residents here really have a strong sense of living in a neighborhood--a community--not just "in South Minneapolis." We might have a higher incidence of Tibetan prayer flags and signs about workers' rights or peace than most Minneapolis neighborhoods.
6 Words Minneapolis
Emily is currently working on 6 Words Minneapolis, a public art project and collection of 6-word memoirs from as many Minneapolis residents as she can reach via foot, poster, or internet. Share your 6 Word Story by filling out this form and spread the word by sending it to your friends and neighbors.
The 6 Words Minneapolis posters invite citizens to share their six word story in private places like coffee shop restrooms. As you can see from the above example, people share a range of emotions in six words. One of the many reasons I love Emily's project.
The Minneapolis 81 tour is a snapshot of Powderhorn Park on one day, with one person as tour guide. Another way to experience Powderhorn Park without physically being there (clearly the best way), is through their ongoing photo project, Powderhorn 365.
Started in 2009, the first two years have been created into books one can purchase. The creators of Powderhorn 365 have shared its success with other neighborhoods spurring additional 365 blogs:
You can follow our footsteps by accessing the Powderhorn Park walk on MapMyWalk.com.
Note that I'm covering the boundaries as defined by the City of Minneapolis so landmarks on the northside of Lake Street are in the Midtown Phillips or East Phillips neighborhoods. That said, places like Midtown Global Market and In The Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre, just to name two, are popular attractions for Powderhorn Park citizens.
We started our tour at Emily's home, a Victorian built in 1897, which she has described as a "fairytale-ish" and told me that once a man walking by cried up "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!". Fun fact: there is a drum set in the turret!
The Artstop Garden was "created by the Parkside West Block Club (winner of the 2008 Police Building Blocks Award) in 1991 from a trash filled lot into a peaceful garden. The goal was to create a feeling of serenity through the interactions of sculptures, flowers and trees. By taking this lot under their wing, the neighborhood has created a green space that creates pride in the neighborhood which in turn prevents crime."
Source: Minneapolis Community and Neighborhood Gardens: A Guided Tour
Neighborhood corner market, One Stop, was recently hit by a car causing considerable property damage.
Established in 1959, Chicago-Lake Liquors used to be nine blocks south on Chicago and Franklin and in 1972 made the move and name change. The parking lot is empty because we were walking on Sunday and as you likely already know, liquor stores in Minnesota are closed on Sundays.
The Chicago-Lake and Bloom Lake business districts offer a wide array of commerce for residents and visitors alike. Learn more about the businesses on Lake Street through the Visit Lake Street website, Twitter and Facebook page.
Our walk occurred during the Minnesota state government shutdown and the group, Shut Down Rise Up joined together every evening in Powderhorn Park to share resources, including a free meal.
From the Circle of Discipline website: Circle of Discipline mission is to provide youth and young adults with alternative programs and enrichment activities that address their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs—360 degrees of balance, which empowers them to reach their full potential and become positive leaders in their communities, cities, state, and in a global society.
Falconer's Cleaners & Launderers mural was created by Jimmy Longoria through the Mentoring Peace Through Art program. Read more about covering gang tags with murals in this 2009 Pioneer Press article, "Gang scrawl fades as mural grows".
For our first reprieve from the heat, Emily and I stopped at Mercado Central. Immediately, I fell in love with the vibrance of the market. I will be back often but will especially enjoy wintertime visits for a dose of color! We went to Reyna de los Jugos and La Loma. We shared an Empezar el Dia (Beginning the Day) vegetable juice which had beet, celery, cabbage and parsley and a mole tamale.
Since 1921, Ingebretson's has been a market for Scandinavian gifts and food. Reading their story gives a glimpse into Minneapolis neighborhood history.
Does anyone know the significance of the red hearts placed on trees?
Dose anyone know the owner of this astroturf minivan? I thought I'd see it in the Art Car Parade but I didn't.
Walker Community United Methodist Church has the mission: To Nurture Spirituality, Build Caring Community,and Work Courageously for Peace with Justice and Mercy.
Many local businesses and homes adorn awnings from Acme Awnings. The shiny copper mural caught my eye and it was recently covered by Joshua Norton for MPR News Art Hounds blog (starts at 1:50). The artist is Richard Barlow and the scene is of a speed skating rink that used to be in Powderhorn Park and is based on a photo from the Minnesota Historical Society. I will be going back because I learned that there is a silver mural on the backside of the building.
When Emily asked her Facebook friends for suggestions four tour stops, several people mentioned the family owned and operated, Glad Creations, Inc. which has been open for more than 30 years.
For a great taste of the community of Powderhorn Park, I suggest hanging out at May Day Cafe. During our tour, Emily and I enjoyed a cold press coffee and watched neighbors passed through the doors.
It is no wonder there is so much artistic expression in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood. Even its association promotes artistic endeavors through programming. The day before our walk, the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association invited people to create a mini mural with Powderhorn artists to learn how to prevent graffiti. The mission of the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association is
A lot of important community work happens within the walls of Pillsbury House. It is home to Pillsbury House Theatre, Pillsbury House Early Education for children ages 16 months – 5 years and the Health Realization Training Center.
Next to Pillsbury House, Full Cycle, a nonprofit bicycle shop, has an impressive mission. From their website: We employ and train homeless youth, teaching them bike repair and business skills. We sell used bikes and parts and provide affordable, reliable professional repair services. Every bike we sell supports a better future and a life off the street for kids who have nowhere else to turn.
Paradise Community Garden / Jardin Paraiso de la Comunidad took shape in 2010 and by reading through their blog, you can follow its transformation from concept to fruition.
Trans Youth Support Network was founded in 2004, after a series of acts of violence against transwomen of color. From their website: Our mission is to promote racial, social, and economic justice for trans youth, with the freedom to self-define gender identity and expression. We do this through training, educating, and connecting youth serving organizations. Our work is consistently shaped and directed by trans youth.
Youth Farm and Market Project provides year-round, youth development programming for over 500 youths ages 9 – 18, utilizing experiential education and training, urban agriculture, gardens and greenhouses. We build youth leadership through planting, growing, preparing, and selling food. Youth Farm and Market Project currently works in 5 neighborhoods in the Twin Cities, Lyndale, Powderhorn and Hawthorne in Minneapolis, and the West Side and Frogtown in St. Paul. Source: Youth Farm and Market Project website
A better photo can be found in this 2009 Southside Pride article.
Life in the Powderhorn Park as told by my tour guide, Emily Lloyd: Powderhorn Park is the site of a number of big annual events--the May Day parade and ceremony, 4th of July fireworks, the Powderhorn Art Fair, and the Art Sled Rally--but there's usually something pretty neat going on in the park even on average days--a spontaneous drum circle, a wandering lone trumpeter, a free market, or, today, the Strange Capers free performance of Twelfth Night.
You can barely see the Minneapolis skyline through the monkey bars in the playground on the 15th Avenue South side of the park. I'm guessing I would have had a better view if I had followed Emily's advice and gotten up on the bars- better yet if we weren't swimming in humidity!
Powderhorn Park Links
* Powderhorn Park Neighbhorhood Association website and Facebook page
* Powderhorn 365 - the neighborhood photo project that inspired many neighborhood to follow their example
* Powderhorn Park neighborhood profile
* More of my Powderhorn Park photos
* Southside Pride, a monthly newspaper serving south Minneapolis neighborhoods
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Fill out the tour guide form if you want to take a walk with me and make multiple stops or fill out the neighborhood gem nomination form for me to consider featuring a specific person, place or thing!
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I'd love to hear from you, please leave a comment. What was your favorite part of this tour? What places do you plan on visiting? Do you live and/or work in the neighborhood? If so, do you have additional information on any of our tour highlights?