New specially-made bricks help connect to Minnehaha Academy's past

January 08, 2019 07:08 PM

Some specially-made bricks have just arrived at Minnehaha Academy, where they will be used as part of the reimagined Upper School, which is being rebuilt in the wake of a natural gas explosion in August, 2017.

The bricks come from Denmark, where according to a Facebook post from the school, they were created by hand using the same method that would have been used to create the original bricks at the Upper School more than 100 years ago.


The color of the new bricks also replicates that of the originals.

Last year, school president Dr. Donna Harris visited the Danish company, Peterson Tegl, that crafted the bricks. She was even able to take part in the production process. 

"It was just incredible," she told KSTP Tuesday. "It was heartwarming to know that I was in a place that I was actually able to touch the mortar of a brick that would be used in this particular installation."

An accompanying blog post said a total of 44,000 bricks are expected to be used in the project. Crews are now beginning installation at the reimagined Upper School at 3100 West River Parkway in Minneapolis.

RELATED: Minnehaha Academy students, staff celebrating construction milestone

The explosion, which occurred on Aug. 2, 2017, killed two people and destroyed the center portion of the Upper School.

KSTP's Minnehaha Academy explosion coverage

The school's website says other historical artifacts have been recovered - some which will be integrated into the reimagined Upper School and others which will be displayed in the school's Archive House.

They include a Minnehaha Academy sign block that was placed over the main entrance of the school's first 1912 building and remained there until it was removed following the explosion.

Minnehaha Academy Marketing and Communications Director Rebekah Peterson said it's all part of an effort to retain some of the school's history.

"During the design process, the architects worked with Minnehaha's archivist, and hosted design charrettes (meetings) with groups of alums, faculty, and staff about how to best represent the history of Minnehaha in the new building," she said via email. "It was important to preserve our more than 100-year-old history, while incorporating best practices and design to serve students 100 years into the future."


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Frank Rajkowski

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