Hamline University:

Wants to expand campus past its current campus border south to Minnehaha Ave as part of its 20 Year Campus Plan developed in 2008

Historic Hamline Village:

An organization wanting to preserve the historic homes and nature of the neighborhood.

Hamline Honors House Coalition

A student group petitioning to stop home demolition and proposing to turn the homes into honors housing for students, faculty, and possibly a relocation of the president's home from Summit Ave to on campus.

the conflict

  • 21 Historic Homes are in the path of planned campus expansion
  • 5 more were demolished in 2014 to make way for "green space" including the University's presidential 'White House' (1912).
  • Many of these homes are not owned by Hamline
  • Hamline says they demolished the houses because they weren't up to code
  • The neighborhood says Hamline didn't maintain the houses on purpose...in order for them to be condemned, demolished.
  • There is distrust of the Administration from the neighborhood which cites the abnormally low property taxes paid on the president's Summit Ave home, saying this money could have been spent on repairing the White House which was torn down because it was ostensibly too expensive to repair.
  • In question is whether Hamline's slow growth is enough to mandate such an expansion


White House
Built: 1912 Status: Demolished
This 11 room Greek Revival home housed the university's president's up until 2004 at which point it was vacated and the president move to Summit Ave across from the state Govenor's mansion. The university declared too expensive to maintain and demolished it, much to the dismay of the community. Read more here.

1549 Minnehaha
Built: 1888 Status: 1 Year Moratorium on Demolition
Recently acquired by and left for ruin by Hamline University, this once beautiful home has been condemned. After community outcry and a heated meeting between the university and neighborhood, a 1 year moratorium has been set to step back and reexamine a solution for the house. Read more here.

1538 Englewood
Built: 1884 Status: Safe...for now
This beautiful and well kept up home has been spared for now. It is eligible to be on the historic register, and the Hamline Honors Coalition has used it as an example of what an on campus president's home could look like.

...and many more. There are 21 homes in the path of Hamline's expansion route


campus plan


While Hamline has not seen the onslaught of incoming freshman predicted when the campus master plan was authored prior to the 'great recession', Hamline's underdgraduate population continues to rise, and word has it that the dorms are overloaded. (Astute observers will note that previous lounge space has been turned into extra rooms).

Both the neighborhood and university want each other to succeed, agreeing that each has been a benefit to the other.

three options

Moratoriums until further discussion

Currently in action, this plan places a hold on the demolition of homes until the school and community can achieve meaningful dialogue and come to an agreement on a permanent solution. Temporary by nature, some community members fear this plan is simply kicking the can down the road, but most still agree that a pause is necessary.

Honors Houses

A student group within Hamline is pushing to turn the historic homes south of the current campus border into Honors Houses. The houses would be restored and preserved, thus satisfying the neighborhood, and the homes would serve as a small amount of additional housing for the school and would be an attractive addition to campus, thus attracting more students and benefiting Hamline University.

Build Within Campus

The third option would be to simply build new housing and class room space within the current campus boundaries. The Shilling, Osbourne, and Peterson dorms, for example, were built as temporary structures in the 60s. These nondescript blocks of bricks could be raised in the name of more attractive and efficient housing. Furthermore, the school has two large parking lots that could be the site of new buildings with underground parking.

further info

Community Meeting at Hamline United Methodist Church9|17|14

Articles / Letters

RE: White House Letter from Hamline U President Linda Hanson
RE: 1549 Minnehaha Letter from Councilmember Russ Stark

get involved

Hamline President

phone 651-523-22l2
email president@hamline.edu

Historic Hamline Village


Honors House Coalition

email meverett02@hamline.edu