Established in 1869, this land grant institution is located in both Minneapolis and St. Paul on two separate campuses. The Minneapolis campus sits on two sides of a 100-foot high plateau overlooking a bend in the Mississippi River, with the Washington Avenue Bridge connecting the 307-acre East Bank and 53-acre West Bank. In 1892, H.W.S. Cleveland created a picturesque plan with sinuous paths and irregularly spaced canopy trees focused on the Knoll area. It is the location of the University’s oldest buildings, including Eddy, Pillsbury and Folwell Halls. Warren H. Manning’s later plan reoriented the campus by linking the Knoll to the Mississippi River via the East River Road.
In 1910, following a significant expansion in acreage, architect Cass Gilbert proposed a City Beautiful-inspired plan that formed the Northrop Mall. One of Gilbert’s most important projects, this long, open green surrounded by neo-classical buildings began to take shape with the construction of Smith Hall, Walter Library and Northrup Auditorium between 1914 and 1929. Morell & Nichols developed additional plans for this area in 1930. Further campus growth in the 1960s, including the Health Sciences Center and West Bank buildings, consists of clustered Modernist-style buildings on extensive paved plazas. The St. Paul campus is noted for its pastoral setting and the Lawn which serves as an expansive green entry to the campus. A portion of the East Bank campus was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.