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The Architecture: Romanesque Revival

Church of St. Stephens

The North Branch Library was designed by architect Frederic Corser (1849 – 1924) in Romanesque Revival style. The style was employed beginning in the mid-19th century, inspired by 11th and 12th century Romanesque architecture. Unlike the historic Romanesque style, however, Romanesque Revival buildings tended to feature more simplified arches and windows than their historic counterparts. Most structures built in this style were residences.

Frederic Corser studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and designed homes and public buildings in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, especially in Minneapolis. Along with the North Branch Library (completed in 1894), three other Corser buildings are on the National Historic Register:

  • Church of St. Stephens
  • Wesbrook Hall at University of Minnesota
  • Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged
Wesbrook Hall, Photo credit: Courtesy of University of Minnesota Archives, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

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