Works in Progress

Greenspace, White Space:

Race, Real Estate, and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Thursday, February 17, 2022
7:00 p.m.

MNSAH invites you to attend Works in Progress on Thursday, February 17, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom.


Rebecca Walker will present her research titled “Greenspace, White Space: Race, Real Estate, and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.” Her research explores the intertwined history of racial inequality and parks in Minneapolis. Using the first complete digitized metro-wide map of racial covenants and archival data from 1910-1930 on greening campaigns by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, this project examines how real estate developers used legal and infrastructural technology to transform Minneapolis’s physical and social landscape. Through both parks and racial covenants, developers capitalized on the ideas of both Whiteness and idealized “nature,” creating exclusive White spaces of environmental privilege. She considers how this history continues to shape Minneapolis, producing persistent environmental inequalities and shaping the politics of greenspace in cities today.

Rebecca is a PhD student studying urban planning at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, UMN.  Her research is situated at the intersection of housing policy and environmental planning in cities, with a focus on implications for environmental justice.

Rolf Anderson will discuss the Frederick and Maryanna Manfred House, a Wrightian design located in southwestern Minnesota north of Luverne. The 1961 house was designed by architect Myron Kehne of St. Paul for the Manfred family. Integrated into an outcropping of colorful Sioux Quartzite, the entire rear wall of the house features living rock. Other design elements include a cantilevered stone fireplace and expanses of glass.

Manfred was an important Minnesota author who wrote about the region with remarkable historical accuracy. He later sold the house to the State of Minnesota for an addition to Blue Mounds State Park. The park used the house as an interpretive center but it is now vacant and facing preservation issues.

Rolf is the current president of MNSAH and has been researching the Manfred House.

Register on Zoom

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