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Performer Mayyadda singing at the University of Minnesota Juneteenth Celebration “We Are The Noise: The Echoes of Our Ancestors” captured on Saturday, June 15.
Best photos of June '24
Published June 23, 2024

Campus Contrived: Tuttle School

In Campus Contrived, writers uncover the stories behind underappreciated works of art and architecture on and near the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus.
Image by Joshua Badroos
Tuttle closed in 2008 and went on the market in December 2022.

The Tuttle Community School building in Minneapolis’ Southeast Como neighborhood is currently for sale.

Whoever eventually buys the building will need to think of a new purpose for Tuttle other than using it as a school, according to the real estate listing. With its large size, historic architecture and distinct interior, Como residents now wonder what Tuttle’s future holds.

The school was named after Calvin A. Tuttle, a Minnesota pioneer and millwright. Tuttle owned what’s now known as Como and East Bank in the mid-19th century, according to the Southeast Como Improvement Association.

The building is more than 63,000 square feet and includes a gymnasium, a theater, office spaces and, obviously, classrooms, according to the listing. The antiquated feel of the property fits right in with one of Minneapolis’s oldest neighborhoods.

Built in 1910, the building boasts a Queen Anne design style, a subgenre of Victorian architecture.

The many windows bring natural light, a highlight of the building. Bracketed windows display the early 20th century feel of the building.

Tuttle was built with modern safety precautions in mind. The stairs were made of iron, and cork layerings were on the floor in case of fires, according to Como Green Village.

Its roots within the Minneapolis neighborhood make it a special place for those who live near the closed school.

Tamika Rogers, a Northeast Minneapolis resident, attended primary school at Tuttle Community School in 1985.

“It seemed so much bigger when we were kids,” Rogers said. “I remember always liking how many windows there were. Every single room or hallway had a window. It felt very royal when we were kids.”

As someone who grew up near the school, Rogers said she is curious about what buyers might turn the school into.

“We’re not sure what use the building might have with new ownership. I think it will be some sort of housing or multi-purpose event center. It looks like it’s still in good condition,” Rogers said.

The school’s sentimental value to Rogers provided excitement for the historic building’s potential.

“Whatever it turns into, it will always be the place where I went to grade school. I’m excited about it,” Rogers said.

The cost to take care of a shutdown school is a debt Minneapolis Public Schools would like off their shoulders, with MPS declaring a potential “fiscal crisis” in November 2022, according to the Star Tribune.


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