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Whittier Neighborhood

Whittier Neighborhood

Whittier is a neighborhood within the Powderhorn community in the U.S. city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, bounded by Franklin Avenue on the north, Interstate 35W on the east, Lake Street on the south, and Lyndale Avenue on the west. It is known for its many diverse restaurants, coffee shops and Asian markets, especially along Nicollet Avenue (also known as “Eat Street”). The neighborhood is home to the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and the Children’s Theatre Company.

While the neighborhood is officially part of the greater Powderhorn community, it is separated from most of those areas by Interstate 35W, and also lies further north than the rest of the community area. Most of Powderhorn is east of Interstate 35W and south of Lake Street; the Whittier neighborhood is west of I-35W and north of Lake Street. Whittier is often associated with adjacent neighborhoods, such as Lowry Hill East in the Calhoun-Isles community to the west and Stevens Square neighborhood in the Central community to the north.

In the 1800s, Mdewakanton Dakota occupied the area from Saint Anthony Falls toward the Minnesota River following their migration from Mille Lacs Lake and the onward expansion of the quarreling Ojibwa. Temporary Dakota camps were photographed in Whittier which are in the MNHS catalog.

In 1849 at the age of 21, John T. Blaisdell moved from Maine and squatted on land just south of downtown Minneapolis. His brothers eventually came and together they lived in a log house which became Blaisdell School.

Following the 1851 Treaty of Traverse des Sioux which expropriated lands to the United States, Blaisdell developed the area south of Downtown Minneapolis into Blaisdell’s Addition. For capital, he sold timber to the booming lumber industry and leased land for the Morrison Farm in the east, which the Morrisons eventually purchased.

The Whittier neighborhood is 81 square blocks one mile south of downtown Minneapolis. Whittier is bounded by Franklin Avenue to the north, Interstate 35W to the east, Lyndale Avenue South to the west and Lake Street to the south. Approximately 14,000 people live in Whittier.

The neighborhood is most famous for the Nicollet Avenue commercial corridor, known as ‘Eat Street’ – in fact many people describe themselves as living in the ‘Eat Street neighborhood’. The multicultural dining options include great Vietnamese, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Somali, Carribean and American – and that is leaving out many other restaurants and the amazing ethnic groceries. Our Eat Street guide can spark further exploration.

Lyndale Ave, Franklin, Lake Street and 26th St are also commercial corridors, shared with other neighborhoods. The dense commercial corridors are part of what makes Whittier so special. We are a vibrant, multicultural community: its slogan is ‘The International Neighborhood’. It also has been a home base for the arts and artists in Minneapolis for over 100 years.


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