Museum in the Streets


Lake Street has a long and storied history. It has been a center for immigrant businesses, a transportation thoroughfare, and a mirror of Minnesota’s larger economic and social trends. It is these aspects of  Lake Street history that are highlighted through Museums in the Streets, a series of English and Spanish plaques throughout the neighborhood. One of those plaques highlights Ingebretsen’s.

“I am very honored that Ingebretsen’s was chosen to be part of this project,” says Julie Ingebretsen, gift store manager. “It is important to know the history of East Lake Street and to have that context so we can understand and appreciate what is happening now. Besides, it is simply fun to explore the neighborhood, read the plaques, see the photos, and to imagine yourself on Lake in another time.”

The Minneapolis Museum in the Streets was the idea of Lake Street Council Chair, Joyce Wisdom. Joyce saw a Museum in the Streets display in another community and contacted the nonprofit that guides communities through the process and manufactures the plaques. The process, which involved many community members and much research, took three years. A Museum in the Streets guideline for an event or site to be considered historic, it has to have happened at least 50 years ago. However, some events, such as Heart of the Beast transforming the Avalon Theater from porn to puppetry, were of such significance to current Lake Street culture it was included. Ingebretsen’s was chosen because it represented the impact of immigrant businesses on the city.

A brochure is available that gives all the locations of the plaques and an outline of a walking tour of the area. You can create your own walking tour and learn about the events, stories, and traditions that helped make the area the vibrant place that it is. Remember, too, that we always have coffee and pepparkakor awaiting you here after your explorations.

-Carstens Smith

Here is the .pdf for the Midtown tour brochure.