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The Heart of Minneapolis

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Since 1872, Augsburg—and many Auggies—have called Minneapolis home. The history of the College is interwoven tightly with that of Mill City and its vibrant Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. These archival images portray the College’s ever-changing campus and illustrate its connection to the broader municipality. Take a close look. And take a moment to recall your own Augsburg history.

The group photograph shows the Augsburg Seminary community in February 1918. At that time, Augsburg Seminary had three areas of focus—a theological school, a college, and a preparatory department.
In 1967, the construction of Augsburg College’s Christensen Center and Urness Tower buildings coincided with Interstate 94 development occurring at the campus periphery. The freeway changed the College’s southern border, creating a fi nite boundary between its Cedar-Riverside home and the Seward neighborhood, although pedestrian bridges were in place prior to freeway completion.
In 1872, Augsburg established its campus next to Murphy Square—Minneapolis’ oldest public park—and this 1905 photograph by Sweet Studio shows children at play. The image is in the Minnesota Historical Society’s collection and was enlarged for display in Murphy’s, a dining establishment formerly located in the Christensen Center.
On October 8, 1972, Augsburg held groundbreaking and site dedication ceremonies for a new student apartment tower that later was named Mortensen Hall after Gerda Mortensen, long-time Dean of Women at the College. In addition to housing Auggies, the tower initially was intended to serve students from St. Mary’s Junior College and the Fairview Hospital nursing program, as well as St. Olaf College nursing students who trained in Minneapolis hospitals.
Built during the 1948-49 academic year, Augsburg’s Science Hall in its early years served several functions, including as the campus entrance; the home of student publications, administrative offi ces, and the economics department; and—naturally—the site of lecture rooms and science laboratories, as seen here.
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