Tag Archives: Bryant Ave Project

Minneapolis and the people

The city of Minneapolis cares for its residents though project to improve the standard of living as seen on the street of Bryant avenue. In 1974, a map was made to show the public housing units from 1952-1974. On the list of buildings towards the right on the map, the Glennwood apartments are listed and show that they are built on Bryant avenue. When compared to a modern day property map, I found that the streets and highways stay where they are but building are either not longer standing or re-purposed. This is the case for the Glennwood apartments. The Hennepin property maps give the details of market values on Hennepin county buildings. When taking a look into residential buildings from Bryant avenue north and Bryant avenue south, there is a multiple thousand dollar differences. While the city builds, destroy or re-purpose a building for either companies or apartments, Minneapolis also undertakes improvement project. In 2011, the city launched the Byrant avenue bike way project. The projected improve bike ways and paths that run along Bryant avenue. Photos can be seen here of the project. Most recently the city of Minneapolis took an unprecedented step of becoming landlords of residential rental housing. A rental house on Bryant avenue was remodeled by Minneapolis to be rented to tents who were about to be homeless till the city stepped in. The Star tribune has an article about the project. This project has taken a older residential home that has a lower property value and has been remodeled to boost its market value. Through projects the city has funded, Minneapolis finds what they can do to help and benefit their residents.

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Bryant Avenue: Misused Like the M1928?

Important: Correlate each source with it’s number.

When most people think about Bryant Avenue, they think about the easy access of education it had to offer and the ease of homes to live in. But was that what it was used for in the 1920s? It’s no secret that Prohibition didn’t really exist back then, especially in Minneapolis. That’s the reason I make the comparison to the M1928 Submachine Gun, otherwise known as the “Thompson” or the “Chicago Typewriter”. As Bryant Avenue’s long running span as a road brought with it a history, although said history as an area for education and affordable homes also runs a similarity duality: history with organized crime.

Now – I am not here to compare the legendary gun first immortalized by Gangsters to a city’s road, and instead, I’m going to delve in with you the legendary nightlife that was provided by the various Minnesotan Mobsters. Bring us to the start of the roaring 20s and forget about all that Jazz nonsense, and I will bring you to an Act created by Minnesota’s very own Andrew Volstead, whom described by Elizabeth Johanneck in Twin Cities Prohibition as “By all accounts . . . [he] was a very agreeable, well-liked, and stubborn man.” [1, pg. 28]. You’d think that in Minnesota, it’d be the most strictly enforced. However, it didn’t take long for Moonshiners and Bootleggers to get to work within their own affordable housing. [2]

Corruption had long existed in the Twin Cities since the opening of our twentieth century. It reached politician and police chief alike with the Layover Agreement, which is summed up perfectly by Sharon Park’s work in MNOpedia regarding the Gangster Era: “In exchange for tip-offs about FBI raids and protection during their “layover” in the city, the gangsters first agreed to check in with the St. Paul police when they were in town. Second, they gave a portion of their gains to the police department. Finally, they agreed to commit no crimes within the city limits, though Minneapolis was fair game.” [3]

By extension you could surmise that Bryant Avenue was included. Refer to my map in [5], and I’ll tell you a short tale of the most legendary booze that surfaced in Minnesota, it’s very own 13. Minnesota 13 was a form of corn which was made by the University of Minnesota. It was made for shorter growing periods and it wasn’t long for the residents of Stearns County to use it and distribute it. It quickly became Minnesota’s most famous brew, nationally and even internationally loved by Canadians as well. [4]

And seeing that Minneapolis was fair gain, poor old Bryant Avenue was no exception. As a long running road that spanned even into Bloomington and Burnsville, it was too much of a tactical advantage to give up on. Mobsters, with the Layover Agreement was able to use the route for both moonshining and bootlegging. Even drug stores which were allowed to use alcohol were sacked in investigations by federal agents, one on Nicollet Avenue running parallel to Bryant, and 38th Street connected to both Avenues. [6, 7]

Moreover, with all of these sources, we could correlate the history that Minnesota had with it’s bootlegging, and that even Bryant Avenue wasn’t safe from it’s history with Mobsters as with the Twin Cities. It doesn’t rise as much as an issue than more of a learning experience in which the sources had given, and it helped with my thought process regarding the road and my previous knowledge on how mobsters operated. What made this the most interesting was how anything in Minneapolis was considered fair game, and by extension this had included Bryant Avenue. As towards how it was misused like the M1928, however. I’ll leave you, the readers to decide.

[1] Johanneck, Elizabeth. Twin Cities Prohibition: Minnesotas Blind Pigs & Bootleggers. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2011.

[2] http://www.mnhs.org/newspapers/lccn/sn83016772/1921-10-12/ed-1/seq-18 / http://www.mnhs.org/newspapers/lccn/sn83016772/1920-08-01/ed-1/seq-13

[3] http://www.mnopedia.org/gangster-era-st-paul-1900-1936

[4] Davis, Elaine. Minnesota 13: Stearns Countys Wet Wild Prohibition Days. St. Cloud, MN: Sweet Grass Pub., 2007. / https://tinyurl.com/Minnesota13  (This last one I had to improvise with, the real link is in the redirect)

[5] https://i.imgur.com/rrHXqMk.png

[6] http://www.mnhs.org/newspapers/lccn/sn83016772/1922-11-05/ed-1/seq-1


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Ascension Place of Haven Housing

When looking across Bryant Avenue, something that quickly grabbed my attention was the region near Bryant Avenue, and 18th Avenue North. The Church of the Ascension, Ascension Catholic School, and Ascension Place of Haven Housing-the obvious connection sparked my interest. But as I looked into the three facilities, I narrowed my focus on Ascension Place, a non-profit transitional living facility for women and their children.

-Ascension Place, located at 1803 Bryant Ave. N, Minneapolis

Ascension Place of Haven Housing. Digital image. Accessed December 18, 2018. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/58dd4d90e6f2e1215e3b2ae7/t/58f4e40d3e00bea40e02362e/1506608418699/ascensionplaceoutside_70.jpg?format=1500w.

So I’d like to demonstrate just how Ascension Place has improved lives, by helping struggling women and children find secure housing.

Through their partnership with St. Anne’s Place of Haven Housing, an emergency shelter for women and children; and Next Step Housing, a permanent housing program with a site-based apartment building in North Minneapolis, Ascension Place has helped several families out of rough spots.

Getting to the point, the topic at large-is homelessness. These are the sources I’ve chosen.

My first source is a book, “Homelessness Handbook”, published by Berkshire Publishing Group and edited by David Levinson and Marcy Ross. The aforementioned is a collection of educated opinions and historical analysis on the many facets of homelessness, in the United States, and around the world. I’ve specifically cited the section on homeless women, and some prevailing causes among them.

Barrow, Susan M. “”Homeless Women”.” Edited by Mary Ross and David Levinson. In Homelessness Handbook, 65. Massachusetts: Berkshire Publishing Group LLC, 2007.

The second source I’ve chosen are the 2015, 2016, and 2017 annual reports of Ascension Place and its partners. The reports provide an insight into how many have benefited from the facilities.

Ascension Place Inc. “Ascension Place Inc. Annual Report 2015, 2016, 2017.” Accessed December 18, 2018. https://www.havenhousing.org/annual-reports/.

The third source I’ve chosen is an article by MinnPost that describes the homeless issue in the Twin Cities. Hennepin County has had a rampant homeless problem for over a decade, and had the largest count of homeless people, in 2015, by almost two times that of any other county in the Twin Cities area.

Source: Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, 2015
Wilder Foundation is a non-profit that conducts research on mental health, substance abuse, and homelessness

Kaul, Greta. “Getting a Handle on the Size of the Homeless Population in the Twin Cities.” MinnPost. August 1, 2017. Accessed December 18, 2018. https://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2017/08/getting-handle-size-homeless-population-twin-cities/.

The final source I’ve chosen is the Facebook page for Haven Housing. Several of the posts there show just how the program aids people in need. The generosity is especially apparent during the holiday season, from the Sponsor a Family/ Woman program for Christmas, the case managers and advocates that provide continued support for the residents of these facilities, or stories of hope like Bree’s.

“Haven Housing.” Facebook. Accessed November 18, 2018. https://www.facebook.com/havenhousingmn/?epa=SEARCH_BOX.

Bree’s Story:
“Bree’s Inspiring Story.” 2018. Accessed December 18, 2018. https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Bree-s-Inspiring-Story-.html?soid=1104748327640&aid=-2QIoLtKvnU.

While homelessness remains a pervasive, and complex issue, it’s heartwarming to see how places like Ascension Place, and St. Anne’s do their part to combat the problem.

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