Dinkytown legacy to be protected

The Minneapolis City Council voted on Friday to designate part of Dinkytown as a commercial historic district, the Minnesota Daily reported last week. The designation will apply only to buildings constructed during DinkytownâÄôs Streetcar Era, which lasted from 1899 to 1929. Protected buildings will be safe from demolition. However, in order to maintain the areaâÄôs economic livelihood, the city plans to impose looser development restrictions on Dinkytown than exist for other historic sites, allowing for ongoing renovation and development in the area. Before DinkytownâÄôs designation, Minneapolis included 12 historic districts. Within them, preservation agencies oversee any needed renovations and educate the public about each districtâÄôs historical significance. Dinkytown has been important to University of Minnesota students from as long ago as the early 1900s. In the second half of the 20th century, Minnesota music legend Bob Dylan lived and performed in the area, and students gathered there to protest the Vietnam War. Having previously endorsed the designation of Dinkytown as a historic district, we commend the City CouncilâÄôs decision. However, considering DinkytownâÄôs rich history, we feel that more of the areaâÄôs buildings are still in need of preservation. City officials originally deliberated protecting buildings constructed through the 1970s. We think this would be an excellent policy to pursue in the future. DinkytownâÄôs post-1929 history is as important to the community as its early years, and it would be a shame to see future developments threaten that history.