The Armory Then and Now

Built for the Minnesota National Guard in 1936, The Minneapolis Armory was the most expensive single building project supported by a Public Works Administration grant in the state of Minnesota. Bounded by South 5th and 6th streets, the building was used for trade shows, civic events, concerts, political conventions and Golden Glove boxing tournaments. The armory was the home of the The Minneapolis Lakers until 1960. During the Vietnam War years the Minneaolis Armory played host to rock and roll acts like Creedence Clearwater Revival and Steppenwolf.  In 1972, promoter, Howard Stien brought Alice Cooper, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Black Sabbath to the 7,000 seat venue. The National Guard ceased operations at the armory in 1980. A few years later Prince shot the video for 1999 in the building.

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The Minneapolis Armory, designed by St. Paul architect P.C. Bettenburg was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. For the past thirty years redevelopment plans including a restaurant, a production sound stage and housing for the homeless have come and gone. The building has been put to use as a parking lot. A new plan calls for the overhaul and reuse as an events facility. During the summer of 2016, a local developer  begun some of the roof and window repairs, patching and the removal of old bleachers. Renovation may be completed as soon as next year.

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