Sunday, March 17, 2019
Seward Neighborhood of Minneapolis | Cody Anderson

Click here to view an interactive metrics link for the median sale price of homes in the Seward Neighborhood:


Hipsters, liberals, artists, environmentalists, and immigrants -- you’ll find a sprinkling of all in Seward neighborhood. Drawn by the close proximity to downtown and the river, this south Minneapolis neighborhood is known for its diversity and inclusivity as well as affordable housing and connections to regional parks and trails. The area is so great that in 2017 it was recognized nationally as one of five Great Neighborhoods on the American Planning Association’s annual Great Places in America list.


Seward officially reaches to Hiawatha Ave. on the west, Minneapolis Midtown Greenway (between E. 27th St. and E. 28th St.) to the south, the Mississippi River to the east, and Interstate 94 to the north.


As one of the oldest neighborhoods in Minneapolis, Seward dates back to the first rapid expansion of the city in the late 19th century. Because of its location south of the city and the large population of Scandinavians in the area, it was first called “Southtown, Lower Town, or Swede Town.” There were plenty of bars and crime, so it became known in the early 1900s as the “Hub of Hell.” You can still get a drink at the lone survivor of the hub’s heyday, the Hexagon Bar, at 26th Avenue South and East 26th Street. In its earliest years, Seward was home to 15 Grand Expositions, County and State Fairs from 1865 to 1883. The every-other-year King’s Fair at Matthew’s Park recalls that tradition with a costume parade, artwork by creative community members, interesting history about the neighborhood, and plenty of fun activities organized by local businesses and neighbors.


The active neighborhood organization offers summer evening walks that cover everything from the history of particular buildings, hidden shops, and diverse housing styles. Other community events include the Winter Frolic and art crawl, annual garden tour, and garage sales in June.


Community spirit comes in many forms, and the Seward Spread Joy Fund (SSJF) helps create unique and lasting experiences for members of the community. Each year the SSJF awards a grant of up to $1,000 to a Seward resident who yearns to do something that is just beyond their budget.


The K-8 Seward Montessori School is one of the most popular schools in the city and the only public school to use the Montessori method. The popular Matthews Park and Recreation Center is adjacent to the school. The rocket sculpture at nearby Brackett Park is one of the most distinguishable items in a city park, and beloved by residents young and old.


The 5.5-mile long Midtown Greenway lies along a former railroad corridor on the southern border of Seward, and is one of the reasons the city has earned a spot within the top 20 most bike-friendly cities in the nation several years running.


Seward offer an eclectic mix of bungalows, two-story homes, and Tudor inspired architecture that are reasonably priced. Settle in a neighborhood within this neighborhood by buying a quaint house along Milwaukee Ave. The oldest tiny community in the city of Minneapolis boasts a street closed to cars, and modest brick structures built originally to house immigrants between 1884 and 1890. Restored in the 1970s, the houses are part of a historic district. Live green and enjoy the walkability of this area.


There’s a thriving retail area along Franklin Ave. It includes the Seward food co-op which expanded to a second facility along Franklin Ave. to offer a cafe and also handle food production for all three co-op facilities. The neighborhood is also home to the Northern Clay Center, ArtiCulture and The Playwrights' Center. Lawless Distilling Company at 2619 S 28th Ave. offers a warm, intimate lounge turning out craft cocktails made with house small-batch spirits. Not far away is Memory Lanes bowling alley, a favorite local hangout. Find Target, Cub, Aldi and a few strip malls at the intersections of Lake/Hiawatha/Minnehaha. A bit north is an industrial area that is home to United Noodles, one of the largest Asian grocery stores in the Twin Cities.


Seward is, indeed, an eclectic mix that deserves its acclaim.


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