Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

MPR debuts Minnesota architecture series with my submission July 1, 2011

LAST WEEK MINNESOTA Public Radio’s “State of the Arts” blogger Marianne Combs put out a call for photos and stories celebrating the great architecture of Minnesota.

I figured given how much I appreciate old buildings—and that would be considerably—I could submit an entry. But what building would I choose?

I started going through my photo folders in search of an image I considered most worthy of submission. FYI, I even have a folder labeled “architecture.”

Faribault topped my choices since this southeastern Minnesota community, my home since 1982, has many, many buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. And, yes, architecturally, these structures are jewels.

Then I considered images from Lucan, Morgan, Hanley Falls, Wood Lake, West Concord, Mantorville, Alexandria, Northfield and a few other towns I can’t immediately recall. Yes, the list was long.

But something kept tugging at me—my loyalty to my hometown of Vesta. Now those of you familiar with Vesta, population around 350 and with a block-long main street, are likely wondering what on earth I found in this southwestern Minnesota prairie town of architectural worth.

Here is the building I chose and which debuted Marianne Combs’ Minnesota architecture series this afternoon. You can click here to read why I chose the Vesta Municipal Liquor Store.


© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling