CHSA logo

Welcome CHSA!

The Construction History Society of America (CHSA) will be joining the AIA Minnesota Convention for CHSA’s 4th Biennial American Conference. National and international CHSA members will attend and join our community of AIA practitioners passionate about our regional architectural, preservation, and construction history.

We are pleased to offer a wide variety of presentations on construction history topics, panels, tours, and networking opportunities, hoping to shed light on our collective past as it informs the present and the future of our built environment culminating in a rich discussion and tour of our own State Capitol restoration.

AIA and CHSA members are welcome to register and attend the following:
Event 19 – Legacy Design and Detail
Event 25 – Leadership & Remembrance
Event 30 – Engineering + Design Legacy
Event 42 – Historic Materials
Event 47 – Landmark Preservation
Event 50 – Engineering History
Event 54 – Legacy Organizations
Event 60 – Mid-Century Modern
Event 64 – Landmark Preservation – Capitol
Event 66 – State Capitol Tour

Tours for CHSA Members Only

Wednesday, November 12 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Tour the Seventh Street Helicoidal Bridge

Bus tour guided by Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla, Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin
Designed by William A. Truesdal, and constructed in 1883-1884 by Michael O’Brien and McArthur Brothers of Chicago, this double-arched, masonry highway bridge that spanned the St. Paul and Duluth Railroad tracks in St. Paul is historically significant for its rarity and the technically demanding nature of its skewed, helicoidal spiral, stone-arch design. The bridge is one of the few of its type in the United States, and is the only known bridge of its type in Minnesota. The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989 and on the American Society of Civil Engineers Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks in 2000.

Thursday, November 13 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm
An Architect’s Stories from the Mill City Museum Construction

A walking tour guided by John Stark, AIA, Project Architect, BKV Group
The Washburn Crosby Mill was the largest flour mill in the world when it was built. Shut down in 1964, it was ravaged by a fire in 1989 and left in ruins. The Minnesoat Historical Society (MHS) was able to stop the fire fighters from using their hose to knock down the remainder of the building walls. The City of Minneapolis stabilized the building, and for almost 10 years it sat empty waiting redevelopment. In 19978 a visionary developer teamed up with MHS and began architectural designs. Numerous discoveries and stories took place as history was uncovered, and the museum and tenant spaces above took shape. Stories of these discoveries and how the building affected the design will be told as you walk the public space in what is now Mill City Museum.

Register for the tours.

CHSA Member Reception

Thursday, November 13 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Movie Night with Mortenson: The Making of the Union Depot
Popcorn: Buttered or Plain? You decide when you join us Thursday November 13th for a happy few hours of networking and movie magic, sponsored by Mortenson Construction. Sit back and relax after a day of learning with the recently released film Back on Track: The Rebirth of St. Paul’s Union Depot, a documentary by Greg Ellis about the renovation of this historic structure in St. Paul. Ellis’ film, a detailed chronicle of the dramatic renovation of the historic depot and the meticulous work by dedicated teams of architects, engineers, construction workers, historians and preservationists culminated in the transformation of the building from an empty, decaying state back to its magnificent original glory complete with modern amenities.
Appropriate refreshments will be provided. 3-D glasses not required. 

What is CHSA?

Formed in 2007, the CHSA is a domestic branch of the UK-based Construction History Society, focusing attention on historical aspects of the construction of the built environment. It is a forum for scholars and professionals to meet, exchange ideas, and research. Members share a passion for examining how our existing structures were planned, designed and built, with the purpose of using this knowledge to better preserve what we have and guide us in determining future directions. Please visit our booth in the Exhibit Hall, consider membership, but most of all, consider bringing a “bit o’ history” into your practice and profession. 

For more details

Visit the CHSA web site.

For CHSA membership information

Visit CHSA membership.