First Unitarian Society, Minneapolis, MN


The First Unitarian Society sits on a curving hillside street overlooking the Walker Art Center. The complex is built into the hillside itself so that is possible to enter the church at street level on Mount Curve Avenue and descend several stories through the attached school to exist at street level on Groveland Terrace below. The buildings were designed by prolific local architect Roy Thorshov.


The complex dates from 1951 and is restrained in style with simple lines and mellow brickface as the dominant material. A flat metal canopy runs across the front of the church to a small garden space  surrounded by windows. A concrete screen wall extends from one side of the entrance toward the street.



The interior has a warm sanctuary with linoleum floors, yellow wood walls and pews, and an enormous wall of clear windows looking out across Minneapolis. The interior is incredibly intact with original metal hardware, artwork, and signage. IMG_1153


IMG_1167The school is more utilitarian with walls of cinder block and acoustical tile ceilings. Nothing much as has changed here either. At the entrance to the school is a sign with concrete block that references the entrance wall on the church side.


Special thanks to First Unitarian Society for letting us visit inside!

Source: Larry Millett, AIA Guide to the Twin Cities, Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2007.


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