MN Architecture: Vesta Liquor Store

And we’re off! Today marks the first installment of what I hope will be a long-lasting series, celebrating the great architecture of Minnesota.

We begin with a charming submission from Audrey Helbling:


Vesta liquor store

Here’s Audrey Helbling’s nomination:

The two photos I am submitting are of the Vesta Municipal Liquor Store in my hometown. That would be Vesta, a farming community of about 350 half way between Redwood Falls and Marshall along State Highway 19 on the southwestern Minnesota prairie.

Only in recent years have I come to appreciate the exterior of Vesta’s muni, built in 1961. I don’t know the architectural style (maybe art deco), but the simple lines of the building and the colorful tile on the front appeal to me aesthetically. I can’t recall ever seeing another structure quite like this.

Adding to the building’s charm is the vintage signage. I shot these images with my son’s cheap point-and-shoot camera some five years ago, before I got my Canon DSLR. I haven’t checked recently to see if anything has changed on the muni’s exterior. It is one of the few remaining businesses on the one-block main street of my hometown.

If you take the time to explore the small towns of Minnesota, you’ll find many such architectural treasures.


Helbling keeps a blog called “Minnesota Prairie Roots” where she recently wrote about an old bank building in Mankato and how it relates to a current sculpture exhibit in that city. You can find it here.

Interested in nominating a building from your neck of the woods? Send a photograph of it, along with a few lines on why it appeals to you, to It’s that simple.

  • lanae

    Vesta Liqour store is art deco with the beautiful multicolor tiles. Inside you are welcomed by old bar stools and a long wooden bar. Many people have sat at that bar, taking a break from all the dancing at the Legion hall down the street while attending a wedding dance!!! People from Vesta. Stop. Think of your old friends. Smile. Maybe we’ll see each other again at the muni.

  • Bernie

    I love Audrey’s architecture photos. Her blog is full of them. Being from Duluth, I never paid attention to the southern part of the state. Her blog has introduced me to buildings I never would have known existed. This simple liquor store being one of them.