MINNEAPOLIS, September 3, 2019—The Minnesota History Center, located in St. Paul and designed by HGA Architects and Engineers is the recipient of the 2019 AIA Minnesota 25 Year Award.


The project was led by Loren Ahles, FAIA, architect; Gary Reetz, FAIA, project manager; Bruce Abrahamson, FAIA, principal; Lauren Wold, AIA, project architect; Vince James, FAIA, project designer; and additional members of the architecture team Bob Lundgren, AIA; Jim Butler, AIA; Tim Carlson, AIA; Joan Soranno, FAIA; Gail Manning, AIA; David Fey, AIA; Linda Morrissey, AIA; Tom Oslund, ASLA, landscape architect; and Johanna Harris, PE, structural engineering.


Established by the American Institute of Architects Minnesota in 1981, the prestigious 25 Year Award annually recognizes one exemplary architectural project that stands the test of time. The award recognizes completed building projects — either individual buildings or groups of buildings — completed at least 25 but not more than 50 years ago, designed by firms with architects registered and practicing professionally in Minnesota. 


Opening in 1992, the Minnesota History Center, owned and operated by the Minnesota Historical Society, was designed to house, interpret and exhibit the Society’s collections under one roof. Visitors would enjoy easy access to the State Archives and the extensive Society library, along with exhibit galleries, an auditorium, museum shops, educational spaces and public amenities. Over the decades, the Center has provided a constantly changing and diverse array of cultural and educational programs for the citizens of Minnesota.


The AIA Minnesota 25 Year Award jury included leading Minnesota architects James Garrett, Jr, AIA, NOMA, Principal, 4RM+ULA;  Tom Hoskens, FAIA, Founding Principal, Cuningham Group Architecture; Jacob Mans, AIA, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota College of Design; and Samantha Turnock Mendiola, AIA, Designer, HGA Architects and Engineers. 


The jury noted how well the facility accomplishes its programming goals, and how it serves as an important part of the St. Paul landscape, tying materiality and elements of the Cathedral of St. Paul and the State Capitol building together. They also noted its excellent use of multiple elevations, and that it continues to serve an important public purpose for the community.


A joint venture of Knudsen Construction and Borson Construction built the project over 26 months in late 1988.

Mr. Ahles will receive the award at the annual AIA Minnesota Awards Dinner on December 6, 2019, at International Market Square in Minneapolis. Learn more about the 25 Year Award here


The American Institute of Architects Minnesota, founded in 1892, is dedicated to strengthening our communities, improving our built environment and providing exceptional design. For more information on the organization and Minnesota architectural firms, reference our  website, visit our  Facebook  page and pick up a copy of Architecture MN, our award-winning magazine.