Howe School (Minneapolis)

Situated in the middle of the Longfellow neighborhood in Minneapolis, Howe Elementary School served the community from 1927 until 2005, when it was closed due to dwindling student numbers in the neighborhood. Minneapolis Public Schools sought development proposals several times since the school’s closure, but summarily rejected many options for reuse of the structure, including charter and private school proposals. Currently, MPS is considering total demolition of the historic school and conversion of the full-block site to athletic fields for the nearby Sanford Middle School. Residents of the Longfellow neighborhood have shown great support for the retention of Howe School and have worked with groups such as the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission to assess the historic significance of the building. They have organized in large numbers to petition against demolition, attend city council meetings, and form the Howe Reuse Task Force. Their efforts are admirable, but without more flexibility on the part of MPS, the school’s future seems bleak.

The Task Force was given the “Good Luck and Godspeed” award by the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission, Minneapolis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and Preserve Minneapolis in 2008.

If you are a resident of the Longfellow neighborhood and support the reuse of Howe School as a charter or private school, please consider signing the petition.

To find out more about the Longfellow Community Council and their neighborhood development, visit: http://www.longfellow.org/committees/neighborhood-development.php

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Nassif

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