Walking All the Streets of Central King Field

The day after my walk through the northern part of the King Field neighborhood, I was back for more. As on the first day, the route map’s main loop is shown in a mixture of blue and teal due to mapping issues. The A and B at the intersection of 38th and Grand are the start and end of the loop.

A block east of the starting point, I turned south on Pleasant Avenue, following it from 38th Street to 43rd. As the two photos suggest, the avenue’s name was an apt description for the experience.

Kingfield2 01

3900 Pleasant Ave.

Kingfield2 02

4200 Pleasant Ave.

Before turning back north on Pillsbury Avenue, I needed to walk the intervening block of 43rd Street. The east-west streets tend not to have as many buildings as the north-south avenues, but those they do have are more apt to be unusual. So it was on this block; to the west of the alleyway on the south side of the street, a single-story flat-roofed building practically cried out to me to look up its original use. Constructed in 1912, the city directory for the following year shows that the grocer Joseph C. Mulholland lived and worked there. The clerk Julia Mulholland worked there too.

Kingfield2 03

215 43rd St. W. (Joseph C. Mulholland Grocery, 1912)

I took Pillsbury Avenue north only as far as 40th Street, where there is a discontinuity in the street grid. At that point I turned west on 40th to Lyndale, where I did a southward spur to 41st. Among the sights along the way were more autumn foliage, a seasonal display of solidarity, and a corner bench with a lush backdrop.

Kingfield2 04

4054 Pillsbury Ave.

Kingfield2 05

Seasonal Solidarity, 4002 Pillsbury Ave.

Kingfield2 06

4053 Lyndale Ave. S.

From Lyndale Avenue, I took 39th Street east to 1st Avenue South, about 0.6 miles. Over that short distance it happened not once, not twice, but three times that the southeast corner of an intersection was occupied by a church. They are each quite different in style.

Kingfield2 07

Bible Truth Hall, 3901 Grand Ave. S. (Former Messiah Swedish Episcopal Church, 1908)

Kingfield2 08

The Church of Jesus Chris of Latter Day Saints, 3921 Nicollet Ave. (1991)

Kingfield2 09

Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 3901 1st Ave. S. (1941)

Turning south on 1st Avenue, I passed a number of interesting apartment buildings. The one shown here, a fine example of the revival style, has meanwhile been converted to condominiums.

Kingfield2 10

Rand Condominiums, 3948 1st Ave. S. (1930)

Between 40th and 42nd Streets, 1st Avenue South is interrupted by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. However, I was able to continue by using a path through the park that runs essentially straight along the 1st Avenue alignment. The northern end of this path is at the entry to the Reed Sweatt Family Tennis Center, a facility associated with InnerCity Tennis.

Kingfield2 11

Reed Sweatt Family Tennis Center, 4005 Nicollet Ave.

At approximately the midway point through the park, the view up a steep hillside toward Nicollet Avenue revealed a colorful play structure, part of a more comprehensive playground project. Just beyond it, Daniel LaRue Johnson’s sculpture Freedom Form #2 provides a central reminder of the legacy of the park’s namesake. From the pathway, I could just make out the inscription on one of the surrounding Beloved Community benches, “How do you go about loving your enemies?” And then, as I was about to emerge onto 42nd Street, I encountered close up a quite different bench, this one a tribute to the neighborhood itself.

Kingfield2 12

Playground, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park

Kingfield2 13

Kingfield Bench, 42nd St. E. and 1st Ave. S.

At this point, I was almost ready to walk Nicollet Avenue northward from 43rd Street to 40th Street, but I took a slightly indirect route to the starting point, looping to the southeast via 42nd Street, Stevens Avenue, and 43rd Street.

Once I was to the corner of 43rd and Nicollet, I still wasn’t ready to actually start walking north. Instead, it was time for a lunch break. That corner is home to Revival and I went in for an order of their fried chicken livers. Juicy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, piled generously on a slice of Texas toast, lightly dressed with a mildly piquant sweet-potato sauce, and topped with pea tendrils, it’s quite the plate. Alas, I forgot the duty I owe my loyal readers and so dove in without pausing for a photo. Lucky for those readers, Sarah VanDusseldorp took a stunning photo as part of her blog post, so my oversight provides me the opportunity to introduce another blogger.

After lunch, I got to see more of Nicollet Avenue. Although it is a major commercial street, that doesn’t mean it is devoid of residences. Indeed, just a few doors north of Revival I photographed an apartment building only to then notice that it is just the southernmost of a group of four. They differ only in their styling details, having all been built in 1928 by Peter Sundquist.

Kingfield2 14

4233 Nicollet Ave.

To the north of the apartments is the long-established Curran’s Family Restaurant and then the park, including in particular its Recreation Center.

Kingfield2 15

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center

My northward journey ended at 40th Street, where I turned back to 41st before heading west. Each of these two corners presented an interesting sight, one a public artwork, the other a quirk of nature. The 40th Street gateway sculpture is part of the larger Birds of a Different Feather installation created by Ben JanssensMarjorie Pitz, and Lori Greene, as I described in the prior episode. I’m again grateful for their permission to photograph their work.

Kingfield2 16

Birds of a Different Feather (2016), 3948 Nicollet Ave.

Kingfield2 17

Tree, 41st St. W. at Nicollet Ave.

Although ultimately I took 41st Street all the way to Lyndale, I needed to interrupt that westward segment with a loop on Wentworth, Pillsbury, and Blaisdell Avenues extending north as far as 38th Street and south as far as 43rd. As always, the point isn’t to get where I’m going efficiently. (If it were, I could take the ultimate shortcut and skip the whole trip. After all, the starting and ending points are the same.) Instead, the point is to have the pleasure of walking the whole neighborhood and seeing what there is to see. And as it happens, there was quite a lot to see on this diversionary loop.

Indeed, I had scarcely turned northward on Wentworth Avenue when one of the houses caught my eye. Something about its playful details told me this was a house with a story. Take, for example, the fantasy castle painted on the retaining wall to the left of the driveway. Sure enough, a bit of online search reveals that this house was until recently the long-running family child care home operated by Michael Kauper and the late Marian Turner. Their home was recognized both as “a nurturing place for children” and as the site of “hundreds of kid-friendly science experiments.”

Kingfield2 18

4042 Wentworth Ave.

At the southern end of this loop, on 43rd Street between Blaisdell and Wentworth Avenues, I passed another church building, built in 1916 for the Old Apostolic Lutheran Church. The last church it housed was the Primera Iglesia Evangelical, and now it holds the Minneapolis Meditation Group of Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF).

Kingfield2 19

Minneapolis Meditation Group of Self-Realization Fellowship, 112 43rd St. W.

As I turned back onto Wentworth, I got a second look at a cluster of townhomes I’d previously seen from Pillsbury Avenue early in the walk. As with the cluster I’d seen the previous day in the 3700 blocks of Garfield and Harriet Avenues, the buildings are grouped along the adjacent sides of two avenues, taking up the entire southern half of the block. (Here it is the east side of Pillsbury and the west side of Wentworth, in the southern half of the 4200 block.) Just as with that other cluster, the land for these townhomes previously held a school, in this case Rosedale.

Kingfield2 20

Wentworth Ave. & 43rd St. W., Townhomes on Site of Former Rosedale School

Kingfield2 21

4100 Block of Wentworth Ave.

Once I got done enjoying Wentworth (foliage and all) and turned back onto 41st Street, I was able to go several blocks without stopping for a photo. That ended at the intersection with Harriet Avenue, home to Judson Memorial Baptist Church. Tom Balcom has written a brief history of the church, including the likely origin of its name.

Kingfield2 22

Judson Memorial Baptist Church, 4101 Harriet Ave.

A couple blocks west of there I reached the neighborhood boundary at Lyndale. And there I found myself eying a striking example of prairie style, which I later learned is the Kirby T. Snyder house, designed by the architect for himself.

Kingfield2 23

Kirby T. Snyder House, 4101 Lyndale Ave. S.

At this point, it was time for some more serpentine progress, this time working my way gradually westward while careening north and south on Garfield, Harriet, and Grand Avenues until I returned to 38th and Grand. These avenues have quite a variety of buildings on them, but in the interest of brevity I’ll just mention one from Garfield and one from Grand.

On Garfield, my walking companion pointed out an incongruous detail in one house, a stylistic anachronism. The facade has the fake stone that was popular from the 1930s through 1950s, whereas the chimney has some tile that looks older. According to the index of building permits, the house was constructed in 1905 and received a large addition in 1941. (The addition is in the back, not visible in the photo.) So my theory is that at the time of the addition, the facade was resided in keeping with 1941 fashion and to harmonize with the new portion, but the chimney was left alone.

Kingfield2 24

3917 Garfield Ave. (1905 and 1941)

Finally, just as I was almost back to the 38th and Grand commercial node, I spotted a four-plex that stands out from the others on the street (of which there are several) not only for its recent construction but also for its contemporary styling. I was interested to read that this project was supported by the neighborhood association: “KFNA [the Kingfield Neighborhood Association] supports an increase of density and diversity of housing in the neighborhood — especially along transportation corridors.”

Kingfield2 25

3824 Grand Ave. S. (2013; 4 2BR)

Editor’s Note: Max Hailperin is walking each of Minneapolis’ 87 neighborhoods, in alphabetical order. He chronicles his adventures at allofminneapolis.com, where the original version of this article was published October 28, 2018. We’re sharing them here at streets.mn.

Streets.mn is a non-profit and is volunteer run. We rely on your support to keep the servers running. If you value what you read, please consider becoming a member.

, , , , ,

4 Responses to Walking All the Streets of Central King Field

  1. Scott Holmgren February 15, 2019 at 8:30 pm #

    Great reviewal of a good area.

    My family was based there many years ago.

    Incidentally some years ago worked on a project of Search for Shelter in the area. In doing so the team i was leading enabled the City of mpls to put a vita zoning piece on place for ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units)

    Good going – sometime I’d like join you.
    Scott (a recent retuning returning enthusiast of the city) 517.648.5723

    • Max Hailperin
      Max Hailperin February 20, 2019 at 5:02 am #

      Scott—thanks for your encouragement. I’ve put a note in my file to contact you as I plan future walks. Next up is Linden Hills—though looking out at the snowscape, I’m not clear when that will be.

  2. Jack February 19, 2019 at 9:05 am #

    I love all the older apartments and condos! So much charm and character. If they still built them like that today, there would be a lot less complaining about the 2040 plan.

    • Max Hailperin
      Max Hailperin February 20, 2019 at 5:01 am #

      Jack, I love the charming 1920s apartment buildings as well—indeed, I happily live in one. But if you stay tuned for my Southern King Field episode (due to cross-post on streets.mn March 1st), you’ll see that I included a paragraph that rather pushes back against chauvinism for any one period. (I wrote it in October, so it isn’t literally in response to your comment.)

Note on Comments

streets.mn welcomes opinions from many perspectives. Please refrain from attacking or disparaging others in your comments. streets.mn sees debate as a learning opportunity. Please share your perspective in a respectful manner. View our full comment policy to learn more.

Thanks for commenting on streets.mn!