In 1907, Robert “Fish” Jones built a 2/3-size replica of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Cambridge, Massachusetts house in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The building has been designated as both a State and National Historic Landmark. It is the sole remaining building of The Longfellow Gardens and Zoo that was active from 1908 until 1936. In 1937, the house was leased by the Minneapolis Library Board and was remodeled and used as a public library until 1968.
After its use as a library, the building had fallen into total disrepair, in part the result of a fire set by vagrants and also by a leaking roof. In 1993, the Longfellow House Restoration Group demonstrated community interest in saving the building. The Longfellow House was relocated to Minnehaha Park and Kodet Architectural Group was commissioned by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to restore and renovate this historic building. The building was adapted to accommodate the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991. It is now used as a traveler’s information center, an interpretive learning center, and an exhibition facility.
R.F. Jones Longfellow House awards:
1998 – Minneapolis Committee on Urban Environment (CUE) Award for Longfellow House Interpretive Center Restoration