Hennepin Theater District
Hennepin Avenue runs from the Uptown and lakes area in the southeast, through downtown and across the Mississippi River into northeast Minneapolis. There are plenty of attractions along the street, but nowhere is the excitement more concentrated than in the Hennepin Theater District.
The Hennepin Theatre Trust runs three historic and one new theater on Hennepin Avenue, and there are opportunities for groups to attend Broadway touring shows, concerts and local performances at the historic State, Orpheum and Pantages theaters and the New Century Theatre. The newest addition, the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, provides opportunities for groups to attend many varied dance performances in a restored historic theater building.
“They just opened this center in fall 2011 after a many-year process to renovate the space and add a new lobby and other behind-the-scenes spaces,” said Kristen Montag, media and communications manager at Meet Minneapolis.
The neighborhood is getting more exciting, as the Hennepin Theatre Trust has announced that it has been awarded a $250,000 grant to transform Hennepin Avenue into a “cultural corridor” stretching from the Walker Art Center to the riverfront.
In the early- to mid-19th century, Columbus experienced a massive German immigration that formed an area labeled German Village. After decades of neglect, a renovation made German Village the largest privately restored historic neighborhood in the nation.
“It is a labor of love by the individuals who have been involved in restoring it and caring for it through the years,” said Beth Ervin, director of communications at Experience Columbus. “It oozes charm. The sense of community is palpable, the historic architecture is beautiful, and the history is visible. German Village celebrates its past, but it also is a vibrant, contemporary urban neighborhood. Its beauty lies not in one single building or place, but in the whole.”
German Village is best seen on foot, and groups can enjoy strolling the brick sidewalks to see the architecture and the small-space gardens, and browsing specialty shops like the Book Loft, one of the nation’s largest independent book stores. Visitors can enter private homes and gardens on guided tours of German Village. A two-hour, docent-led experience tells how German immigrants in the mid-1800s settled “die alte sud ende,” or the Old South End, just eight blocks south of the Ohio Statehouse.