The 1970s Turn 50 across Minnesota

Virtual Event

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Can you dig it? The Docomomo US/MN annual Tour Day is going virtual this year. Far out!

Join us Sunday, October 11, 2020 for an online virtual tour that will crisscross the state of Minnesota, highlighting public and private sites that exemplify the outta sight (and now historic) decade of late modernism that was the 1970s.

Presented via livestream by intrepid reporters (okay, actually socially distant Docomomo US/MN board members), our 2020 Tour Day features three keen sites across Minnesota, and explores the impact of seventies modernism on our state.


We start at 2 pm Eastern (1pm Central). Catch you on the flip side!

Here's the skinny:

  1. This year's Tour Day is FREE via Facebook Live
  2. Suggested donation for non-member households is $10
  3. Let us know you will be watching and asking questions – Register via eventbrite
  4. Livestream instructions sent after registration (Facebook account not required).

Featured Tours

University Grove Rehab: 1972 Tom Van Housen adapted to 2020

Built in 1972, this home was one of the last installations of the 50-year architect-designed enclave of University Grove. This year, the new owners embarked on a renovation plan that honored the original vision by Tom Van Housen and Progressive Design Associates while modernizing the interior to reflect life in 2020.

Chanhassen Earth Home: In the future, we will live underground

Conceived during the energy crisis of the 1970s, this earth-sheltered home in Chanhassen, MN sought to take advantage of natural heating and cooling properties by burrowing into the earth, while reflecting modernist sensibilities. Construction began in 1975 and completed in 1979, this home features stonework and masonry inside and out. Architect Bruce Knutson of KK Designs.

New Ulm Library and Environs: Late modernism in greater Minnesota

New Ulm may be known more for its rich German heritage and quaint small-town vitality than for its bold mid-century architecture, but the 1970s were an important decade for this small prairie community in southwest Minnesota.

We will begin by looking at the master planning work undertaken by InterDesign, Inc. in the mid-1970s to provide a modern framework for the city's cultural heritage. InterDesign, Inc. is recognized as one of the first interdisciplinary design firms in the country and was founded by visual designer Peter Seitz, architect Dewey Thorbeck, and landscape architect Roger Martin. InterDesign, and Peter Seitz specifically, had an outsized role in developing Minnesota's design intelligence, both through Seitz's design work and particularly in his role as the Walker Art Center's first Design Director.

​The tour will conclude at the New Ulm Public Library, designed by Freerks, Sperl, and Flynn, which opened in 1976. The brutalist library manages the difficult task of being an excellent example of late-modern brutalism, while still being an inviting and beloved part of the community.