Map Monday: HOLC Redlining Map of Minneapolis

Via Historyapolis, here’s one of the most important Minneapolis maps you’ll ever see, a section of the original Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) map of Minneapolis from the 1930s.

minneapolis redlining map

Detailed segment of 1930s HOLC “risk” maps showing Minneapolis’ near north side. The areas shaded red were deemed too hazardous for federally-back loans; most of the city’s African Americans lived in these areas.

This is from  the great Historyapolis post, which talks about attempts to change the racially-segregated housing structure:

The system demanded that realtors serve as the border patrol, monitoring the lines that divided neighborhoods by race. A professional code of ethics actually prohibited anyone associated with the national association of realtors from selling houses in white neighborhoods to people deemed not white (a broad swath of humanity that covered persons of “Chinese, Japanese, Moorish, Turkish, Negro , Mongolian or African blood”).

When [Japanese-American veteran, Jon] Matsuo’s story became public, most realtors saw no reason to relax their vigilance. The protesters associated with the American Veterans’ Committee, according to real estate developer Gillespie, were “a bunch of trouble-making, flag-waving communists.” The actions of one firm, he asserted, could not change the situation. The protesters “will have to go to the real estate board, savings and loan associations, bankers associations and get an amendment in the federal constitution if they hope to abolish use of the restrictive covenants.”

The little-understood story about how race and real estate intertwined in the 20th century is a huge factor in explaining  the persistent racial inequalities that continue to plague the Twin Cities.

Someday, I’d like to get a good quality digital scan of the full map. I wonder where I can get that made?

Here’s a link to the full Minneapolis HOLC map! [Click to Minnesota/Minneapolis.]



Protest over a Northeast Minneapolis restrictive covenant in 1946.


Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.