The Uptown District of Minneapolis
Calhoun Isles, Lowry Hill
|Motto: "Normally out of the ordinary"|
|Founded by||Uptown businessmen created "Uptown" name for area|
|Named for||Desire to create an Uptown-like district of Chicago|
|City Council Ward||10|
|• Councilmember||Meg Tuthill|
|Elevation||879 ft (268 m)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
Uptown is a popular commercial district in southwestern Minneapolis, Minnesota, centered at the Uptown Theater (the former Lagoon) at the intersection of Hennepin Avenue and Lagoon Avenue. It has traditionally spanned the corners of four neighborhoods, Lowry Hill East, ECCO, CARAG and East Isles neighborhoods, within the Calhoun Isles community. Historically, the boundaries of Uptown are Lake Calhoun to the west, Dupont Avenue to the east, 31st Street to the south, and 28th Street to the north.
The Lakes Area of Lake Calhoun. Lake Harriet, and Lake of the Isles became popular in the 1880s as vacation cottages, hotels, and boating recreation became available by streetcar. As Minneapolis expanded south, housing construction boomed through the 1920s. A commercial district began forming just east of the Lakes Area. At the intersection of Hennepin Avenue and Lagoon Avenue, the Lagoon Theatre was built, a multi-function vaudeville theater. When the Lagoon burnt down in 1939, owners sought to rebuild and the business community took the opportunity to rebrand the area. Following the success of Chicago's Uptown District, the Minneapolis Tribune announced the new Uptown District of Minneapolis centered on the newly renamed Uptown Theatre.
Through the 20th century, Uptown was primarily a family area centered on nearby West High School at Hennepin and 28th Street West. Modest housing along Lowry Hill met the mansions of Kenwood to the west and around the lakes. Hennepin flourished as a commercial corridor and route from downtown to residential homes, while Uptown served also as an important streetcar route from Uptown to the vacation homes of Lake Minnetonka. White flight via the freeway system after World War II and demolition of West High School signaled a demographic shift in the area. Blight and crime began moving into Lowry Hill though were kept at bay by the Kenwood area. Neighborhood associations and formal borders were designated in the 1970s as each section of Uptown began addressing domestic problems.
During this time, Uptown developed an artist culture. The history of this culture is preserved in the annual Uptown Art Fair. In 1980, Minneapolis musician Prince, a graduate of Central High School, released his seminal recording Dirty Mind, which contained his paean to these artists, appropriately titled "Uptown". In the 1990s he later owned a store at 1408 West Lake Street called New Power Generation. A retail renaissance of the area occurred in the 1980s when Calhoun Square was developed. Combining a half block of existing storefront buildings, the renovation turned the area into a competitive retail draw from Downtown and from the suburban dales (malls). As the popularity of Uptown as a residential district grew again, the definition of the area expanded.
Uptown is a mix of various cultural strains and is considered an area for young people to live and shop. It's known as a vibrant center for artists and musicians, hipsters, and hippies. Much more numerous are the young professionals, also known as yuppies, from throughout the Twin Cities area who frequent this district at night, especially on the weekends, in order to visit local restaurants and bars.
Uptown Art Fair
Uptown annually hosts the Uptown Art Fair, during the first full weekend of August. Local, national, and world artists converge to exhibit and sell their fine art. Art media include paintings, sculptures, clothing, pottery, jewelry, glass, and mixed media. Art cost ranges from $6 (USD), for prints, and up into the hundreds or thousands of USD for paintings. The Art Fair SourceBook has rated the Uptown Art Fair highly in past years for fine art festivals.
Uptown Bike Race
On June 12, 2009, Uptown hosted a stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix, one of the most important bicycle races in the country. The Uptown race was a criterium, a spectator-friendly race on a short circuit that allows spectators to watch the entire race from start to finish, with the racers passing by every minute or so. The event was volunteer-run with all proceeds donated to the pediatric hospice at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.
As of 2000 the current population for Uptown Minneapolis was 30,564 of which 15,947 are male and 14,617 are female. The population consists of 19,314 caucasians, 4,930 blacks, 4,729 Hispanics, 1,630 Asians, 514 native Americans, and 32 native Hawaiian. Less than 3,600 of this population are children under 5 and citizens over the age of 65. The median age is 29 years old. The majority age of this area is people 18 years and older. The average household size is 2.05 while the average family size is 3.19. Uptown Minneapolis has a total of 15,033 housing units of which 75% are renter occupied while 3% of housing units were vacant. Social characteristics showed 40.08% of population completed a Bachelor's degree or higher while 84.9% had completed a high school degree or higher. The median household income is $34,216.00, the median family income is $38,634.00.
Reported crimes for the 5th Precinct of the City of Minneapolis from 1/1/2009 through 11/9/2009. Homicide 2, rape 44, robbery 226, aggravated assault 243, burglary 828, larceny 2,358, auto theft 273, arson 15, property crimes 3,474.
Business and public buildings
Businesses in Uptown include many restaurants, bars (such as Aura, Williams Pub, Chino Latino, Roat Osha, Sushi Tango, Stellas, Uptown Tavern & Rooftop, and Uptown Cafeteria), book stores, music stores, cafés, clothing stores, furniture and housewares stores, two indie movie theaters, an improv comedy theater, and several specialty stores. The Walker Community Library is underground beneath a small park located at Hennepin Avenue and Lagoon Avenue. It is denoted by large metal letters: "L-I-B-R-A-R-Y".
Uptown is in the 5th Precinct of the City of Minneapolis. The 5th Precinct boundaries are Interstate 94 on the North, Interstate 35 W on the East and the city limits to the West and South.
The Uptown Transit Station is located on Hennepin Avenue over the 29th Street Greenway and serves Metro Transit buses 6, 12, 17, 21, 23, 53, 114 and 115. The station also has a change machine, a heated interior, binoculars, bike lockers and posts, and a workers lounge and office area. The Midtown Greenway, a former railway cutting which now hosts a bike path, bisects Uptown roughly a block north of Lake Street (where 29th Street would otherwise have been located). To improve the ease of transportation in a community that is currently pedestrian heavy, Hennepin County is considering the addition of a streetcar in the Greenway.
- MN Monthly Review of Uptown
- This is an estimated population based on the proportion of 2000 Census data and 2006 Census Estimates. It is meant to be representative and not an official number. The Uptown block groups were approximately defined as: Lincoln Ave (north), Lakewood Cemetery (south), Lyndale Avenue (east), BNSF Railway (west)
- "Twin Cities Region Population and Household Estimates, 2006" (PDF). Metropolitan Council. 2006-04-01. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
- "Table 2: Population Estimates for the 100 Most Populous Metropolitan Statistical Areas Based on July 1, 2006 Population Estimates: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. 2007-04-05. Retrieved 2007-04-16.
- Thatcher Imboden and Cedar Imboden Phillips (2004). Uptown Minneapolis. www.arcadiapublishing.com. ISBN 0-7385-3358-0.
- MPR: Minneapolis losing affordable housing to condo conversions
- OurUptown.com - Uptown, Minneapolis Information Resource
- Uptown Association
- Uptown Art Fair
- Uptown Minneapolis, a book by Thatcher Imboden and Cedar Imboden Phillips
- Uptown Photo Blog
- Uptown Minneapolis Blog
- Nature Valley Grand Prix