Minnesota Architecture: Eveleth Manual Training School


Today’s nomination for our “Celebrating Minnesota Architecture” series comes from Pam Capin in Eveleth. Her choice? The Eveleth Manual Training School.

This building has always reminded me of the Larkin Administration Building that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It was built in 1914. I don’t know the name of the architect. It is very different from the other Eveleth school buildings, except for the color, and the diamond pattern in the brick just below the cornice. The windows and doors were replaced years ago, which gave the building a more industrial look, and resulted in the differently colored brick around the openings. Notice the old fallout shelter sign above the left side door!


Photo courtesy of Pam Capin

Well, I did a little digging, and I have some information for Pam, thanks to the Minnesota Historical Society and the National Register of Historic Places. The Eveleth MTS was added to the registry in 1980, and according to the entry, was designed by architects William Bray and Carl Nystrom. Here are there bios, thanks to the University of Minnesota’s Northwest Architectural Archives:

William Bray was born in New York State in 1868 and had an early apprenticeship there in architecture. He moved to Duluth in 1891 to work as a draftsman and was employed in the office of Traphagen & Fitzpatrick from 1892 to 1898. In 1902, he was a partner of Carl Wirth, and then joined I. Vernon Hill in partnership from 1902 to 1904. From 1904-1905 he practiced alone and in 1905 he partnered with Carl Nystrom; the partnership lasted until about 1915. He returned to private practice and subsequently entered into a partnership with Claude H. Smith in 1923 which lasted until 1925. When Bray retired he moved to California. He died in Beverly Hills in 1959.

Carl Nystrom was born in Sweden in 1867 or 1868 and immigrated to the United States in 1889. He worked in several architects’ offices in Ironwood (Michigan), Ashland (Wisconsin), and Duluth, where he settled in 1892. He was a partner in the firm of Young & Nystrom from 1902 to 1905, and then joined William Bray in partnership until 1915. After the dissolution of the firm, Nystrom practiced alone until his death in 1944.

Wondering what a Manual Training School was, exactly? Here’s the MNHS’ description:

Built in 1914, the Eveleth Manual Training School was Minnesota’s first vocational school, established to meet the needs of the iron mining industry as it shifted to extracting and processing lower-grade ores. The new technologies required new kinds of skilled workers – mechanics, vehicle operators, machinists. Vocational schools like this one were thought to be the best way to train industrial workers

Many thanks to Pam for her nomination. Do you have a building you’d like to call out for its particular beauty or charm? Send me a photo, along with a paragraph or two on why you like it, to mcombs@mpr.org.

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