May is Preservation Month, and here in Northfield we have a lot of historic buildings and places to celebrate! In fact, sixty-five of our downtown buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, and that doesn’t even count the residential houses or either college campus.

If you want to learn more about the architecture of Northfield, a good place to start is one of our new Primary Source Sets – Architecture in Northfield !

This set introduces some of the various styles and types of buildings that are common in Northfield, and provides visual examples. I also found some really great curriculum guides and lesson plans that help us explore the built environment around us and try to imagine how buildings were used, and how that has changed over time.

Architectural history is more than memorizing what a Corinthian column is, after all! We live, work, drive, and walk by buildings every day of our lives. They shape the growth of a city like Northfield and the people who live here.

If you want to know more about Minnesota architecture, I highly recommend these articles written by Charles Nelson for the Minnesota Historical Society: