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The Second Earliest View of Minneapolis Alone

Minneapolis. ELLSBURY, G. H. & GREEN, V. (artists)/ CHAS. SHOBER & CO. [Chicago, 1874]
Minneapolis, MINN. 17 ½ x 29 ¼ inches
Chromolithograph in fine condition


Rare and in superb condition. The second printed view of the Minneapolis, which was preceded only by Hageboeck view of 1873 and a view of both St. Anthony and Minneapolis in 1867, the year of the latter city obtained its charter. This is the larger, separately-published version of the view that was also published the same year in a slightly smaller version in Andreas’ atlas of Minnesota.
The view, which is from the west, has a striking, low-elevation perspective that is dominated by the roof of Macalester College in the foreground and its observation tower. In terms of perspective, the view is approximately half way between a panoramic depiction that dominated the portrayal of American cities in the first half of the 19th century and a bird’s-eye view that would hold sway in the latter part of the century. In the view, the very young city is shown to have already attained a surprising level of development. Eighty-five structures are noted beneath the view, including churches, mills, factories, municipal buildings, and hotels. Macalester College is shown in its original location on the eastern side of the Mississippi in the foreground. The original span of the Hennepin Avenue Bridge can be seen; it is believed to have been the first permanent span across the Mississippi at any point.

Reps, Views 1923; Reps, Cities of the Mississippi, pp. 311, 34; Rumsey 3034.024; cf. Holland, R. The Mississippi River in Maps & Views, pp. 216-17.

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