Minnesota Architecture: Hibbing High School

When people look back at their high school years, not many are thinking about the architecture. But not so for Lynn Falk who, like Robert Zimmerman before her, attended Hibbing High School.


Hibbing High School

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Lynn Falk provides us with today’s Minnesota Architecture nomination; here’s why she choose her alma mater:

Beyond the beauty of the auditorium and the library, the main entrance has a marble staircase and pillars and additional murals painted on the walls. Being in the high school band, we traveled around the state performing at different schools, and even as a teen, I was able to see how fortunate I was to be able to go to school in a museum. The sad part for me was when they tore down the football field to construct the band and fitness facility. The auditorium has doors on the south side that opened up into the bleachers. All I can say about the auditorium is wow. It is worth the trip to Hibbing to see the beauty of the high school.


Hibbing High School Auditorium

Image courtesy Iron Range Tourism Bureau

Here’s more on the building from the Iron Range Tourism Bureau:

A grand staircase leads to the medieval castle-like framework of the historic school, built in the early 1920’s for almost $4 million.

Unique hand-molded ceilings in the foyer welcome visitors and accent the breathtaking auditorium designed after the Capitol Theatre in New York City. Cut-glass chandeliers of crystal, imported from Belgium, light the 1800-velvet seat grand auditorium. The cost of each chandelier in 1920 was $15,000 and today they are insured for $250,000 each. The auditorium boasts a magnificent Barton pipe organ, one of only two that still exist in the United States. Containing over 1900 pipes, the organ can play any orchestra instrument except the violin.


Postcard depicting aerial view of Hibbing High School, circa 1940

Image courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society

Hibbing High School was promised to be a “Castle in the Woods” to promote the relocation of the town from North Hibbing. It was funded in large part by mining companies; it was the growth of the mining industry that forced the town to move in the first place.

Interested in nominating a building for the Minnesota Architecture series? Just send a photo with a few lines explaining why you like it to mcombs@mpr.org.