Cabin Culture! – A Virtual Road Trip

Virtual Event

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Pack the station wagon and plan your picnics! Docomomo US/MN is headed on a (virtual) road trip to celebrate Resort and Cabin Culture, the mainstays of midcentury travel and leisure across the midwest.

For the last one hundred years, “cabin culture” has become a dominant trait of Minnesotan identity. For many Minnesotans, remembering a childhood “up north” conjures pleasant images of pine-ringed lakes and a cozy cabin. The phenomenon of owning or visiting a cabin in the upper midwest is widespread and did not happen by accident. Cabin culture is the byproduct of industrial pursuits, the goal of postwar regional boosters, and, every so often, the precise conditions for exceptional modern architecture. The modernist cabin provides access to nature, and, through historic context, demonstrates ideas about gathering and the environment. 

This virtual tour highlights modernist projects that represent different ideas in cabin culture, tracing modernism in cabin architecture through locations from the Docomomo US/MN Minnesota Modern Registry​. 

We will be covering hundreds of miles across Minnesota and Wisconsin to feature vacation properties designed by Close Associates, Ralph Rapson, Milo Thompson, Bruce Abrahamson and more. All from the comfort of your own home (or cabin)– in about 100 minutes. If you do the math, it is supersonic travel.


Sunday, October 10 at 1:30 pm CENTRAL TIME

Free for Docomomo US members/$15 non-members Join or renew your membership  

Advance registration required, webinar information will be provided after registration


Mary Dahlman Begley received her Master of Architecture degree from the University of Minnesota in 2020 after completing her BA at Carleton College in 2014. Since early 2020, Mary has been conducting thematic and site-specific research supporting the Docomomo US/MN Minnesota Modern Registry. She is currently a visiting instructor at SDSU, Department of Architecture. More at

John Boelter
Lisl Close designed, and refined, the plans for the cabin on Lake Vermillion that she named 'Thunderhead,' for nearly 20 years before it was completed in 1959. The property – which is only accessible by boat – has been a part of John's family for almost a century.

Bobak Ha'Eri is a board member of Docomomo US/MN; and the human encyclopedia behind the MN Modern Registry. He holds a BA from the University of Southern California and a JD from the University of Minnesota, where he's currently an Adjunct Professor for the University Honors Program and Instructor of Legal Practice at the Law School.

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