The Hennepin Center for the Arts was originally built from 1888 to 1990 as a Masonic Temple. The building is a Richardsonian Romanesque style designed by long architects, Long and Kees. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1795. Today is part of The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts.
The building served as the Masonic Temple for more
than a century. It housed offices and lodging space for the Masonic Temple
Association of Minneapolis. Visitors might notice the intricately carved motifs
on the building’s exterior. The sandstone building originally had two domes on
the corner towers but those were removed because of deterioration.
Ownership changed in 1978 and it became home to the Hennepin
Center for the Arts. The building has been home to a number of business and
medical offices, a church as well as street-level retail stores. Improvements
have included a new roof and windows as well as a chemical wash to restore it
to its original color. New mechanical and electrical systems were installed.
Lodge halls were converted to theatre spaces.
The building is now owned and operated by Artspace Projects.
As part of The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, the building is
home to several dance troupes and is visited by thousands of children and
adults each year for classes, rehearsals, workshops and performances. It also
has a distance learning program which used technology to create two-way
interactive teaching environments for students throughout the nation.