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    Basilica of St. MaryBasilica of St. Mary Minneapolis, Minnesota
    this was the first basilica in the United States, honored by Pope Pius XI in 1926, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the co-cathedral for the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and considered to be one of the best examples of beaux-arts architecture in the nation, built between 1907 and 1915, designed by Franco-American Emmanuel Louis Masqueray; taking up a complete block in downtown. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and in 1991, the old copper roof would be replaced with a newer roof so that the leaks would be stopped and the water damage from it repaired. Continued work on the restoration of the exterior and the damage plaster inside is still happening, and beginning in 1995, the church would become the host to the Basilica Block Party weekend music festival. The proceeds from this event goes toward the repair work on the basilica and helps the poor families of the neighborhood. The church also hosts the Minnesota Sinfonia, which is a non-professional orchestra, that holds their winter classical concert series there; and each spring, the DeLaSalle High School comes to the church for their commencement ceremonies.

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    Minneapolis Institute of ArtsMinneapolis Institute of Arts Minneapolis, Minnesota
    this outstanding fine arts museum is located in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota occupying 8 acres that had been part of Morrison Park. Since it is a significant, government funded public museum, there isn't a charge, except for special exhibitions and offers photography of its permanent collection for scholarly or personal use. The Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts started back in 1883 to add an arts venue to the community, with the group organizing art exhibitions during the decade, until 1889, when the society would become the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and moved into its first home inside the newly constructed Minneapolis Public Library. In 1915, it would be moved into its own new structure, constructed on land the Morrison family had donated and had been occupied by their Villa Rosa mansion. It would grow into the best example of beaux-arts style in the state and is located in the Washburn-Fair Oaks mansion district that would be added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The magnificent museum showcases an encyclopedic collection of about 80,000 works that span 5000 years of world history and includes; decorative arts, paintings, prints and drawings, photographs, architecture and textiles; with collections from Oceania, Africa and the Americas, with a strong holding in Asian art that has been called one of the best and most complete Asian art collections in the nation. This excellent collection contains Chinese ceramics, architecture, jade and bronzes. The biggest piece in the collections is the Purcell-Cutts house that is considered to be one of the most important examples of Prairie school architecture, that was rejuvenated by the museum and opened in 1990.

March 31, 2014