The streetcar line that went from W Lake street to W 5oth street along Bryant Ave S served as a major catalyst in the local growth of Minneapolis, specifically the areas around lake Calhoun and lake Harriett, during the decade of 1895 to 1905.
The two maps below show growth of construction and housing along Bryant ave and the surrounding areas. Additionally, the streetcar line has expanded with the general construction over the witnessed decade.
1892 Map of Minneapolis
1903 Atlas of Minneapolis
The streetcar line on these maps is indicated by a black stripe and a blue stripe. The maps show the streetcar line growing by 6 total blocks south on Bryant Avenue. To the east, the line grows several more blocks around Lake Harriet. In conjunction with the growth of streetcar lines, we see a large increase of city blocks that are labeled. This labeling indicates their development status. The increase of construction that correlates with the growth of the streetcar line in the Bryant Ave S area shows the streetcar impact on housing.
Population of Minneapolis 1880 to 1910
Data gathered from IPUMS USA Census Data.
This Data shows objective growth within the city of Minneapolis during the discussed time period.
Housing Records along Bryant Ave S
With use of records sourced from Hennepin County, one may identify the construction date of households located near the Bryant Ave Streetcar Line. Looking at house records along the specific sections of Bryant Ave, it is seen that most construction occurred during the early 1900’s. This shows the increased residential access provided to the area via streetcar line. Within 10 years of the Line’s construction, housing was surrounding the street.
3412 Bryant Ave S: Constructed 1904
4100 Bryant Ave S: Constructed 1913
4111 Bryant Ave S: Constructed 1895
4416 Bryant Ave S: Constructed 1917
The lack of direct correlation between southern positioning along Bryant Ave and construction date shows the impact of the streetcar line. Due to the fact the streetcar line was built before the housing, one may deduce that the line enabled increased housing within the area.
From a more general perspective, it becomes easy to identify the value of streetcars within the greater Twin Cities area. The Twin City Rapid Transit Company was the main manager of the streetcar system during this discussed period. The TCRTC saw a peak ridership during the year 1920, with 238 million passengers. Additionally, the TCRTC experienced a worker strike in the year of 1917. During this event, more than 15,000 people showed up to strike the company, as the company was not acknowledging the newly formed union. Considering the number of people present during the strike, it is clear the streetcar industry played a large role in the Twin Cities community of the early 1900’s.
Cameron, Lina A. “Twin Cities Streetcar Strike, 1917.” MNopedia. February 29, 2016. Accessed May 03, 2019. http://www.mnopedia.org/event/twin-cities-streetcar-strike-1917. This article gives insight to the size and importance of the streetcar industry. These factors are indicated by the strike of 1917 where many workers showed force.
Cameron, Linda A. “Twin City Rapid Transit Company and Electric Streetcars.” MNopedia. February 22, 2016. Accessed May 03, 2019. http://www.mnopedia.org/thing/twin-city-rapid-transit-company-and-electric-streetcars. This article gives information regarding the history of the Twin Cities Rapid Transit Company and the history of electronic street cars in the Twin Cities. Specifically mentioned is the figure telling of the peak of streetcar use in the area.
Egan, James E., comp. “Atlas Of The City Of Minneapolis.” Map. John R. Borchert Map Library. Accessed May 3, 2019. https://www.lib.umn.edu/borchert/digitized-plat-maps-and-atlases#H. An atlas of Minneapolis from 1903. Shows the growth of the Bryant Ave streetcar line and the development of housing around the line and the area.
Foote & Co., CM, comp. “City of Minneapolis, 1892.” Map. John R. Borchert Map Library. Accessed May 3, 2019. https://www.lib.umn.edu/borchert/digitized-plat-maps-and-atlases. A real estate atlas of Minneapolis of the year 1892. Shows the established streetcar line along Bryant ave and the developed housing in the area.
Kahn, Deborah Morse. “Lynnhursts 50th & Bryant: Once a Streetcar Corner.” Southwest Journal. March 03, 2010. Accessed May 03, 2019. http://www.southwestjournal.com/news/2010/03/lynnhursts-50th-bryant-once-a-streetcar-corner/. This article tells tales of the specific streetcar corners along Bryant ave during the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Ruggles, Steven, Sarah Flood, Ronald Goeken, Josiah Grover, Erin Meyer, Jose Pacas, and Matthew Sobek. “SDA 3.5: Tables United States 1850-2017.” Version 9.0, 2019. Accessed May 3, 2019. IPUMS USA. Path: United States 1850-2017, Minnesota, Census year, Person weight, City. This IPUMS Data refers to a table I created to reference the population of Minneapolis from 1880 to 1910.
Public records accessed through Hennepin County: http://www16.co.hennepin.mn.us/pins/addrresult.jsp