LivingTravelA skyline of the Longfellow neighborhood in South Minneapolis

A skyline of the Longfellow neighborhood in South Minneapolis

Longfellow is not technically correct, but he almost universally used the name for the southern part of Minneapolis between the light rail and the Mississippi River. It is a quiet, residential, moderately expensive neighborhood, popular with families and couples.

Longfellow location

Officially, “Longfellow” may refer to a multi-neighborhood community in South Minneapolis. The Longfellow community contains a neighborhood officially named Longfellow, plus the Seward, Howe, Cooper, and Hiawatha neighborhoods.

Longfellow’s official neighborhood is one square mile between Hiawatha Avenue and 38th Avenue, and then between 27th Street and 34th Street. In practice, everything in the triangular area south of 27th Street between Hiawatha Avenue and the Mississippi River is known as Longfellow. This area includes the official Longfellow neighborhood, as well as Cooper, Howe, and Hiawatha.

Longfellow history

Longfellow has always been a residential neighborhood. Immigrants living in narrow neighborhoods south and east of downtown Minneapolis began moving to the Longfellow area when streetcar lines connecting downtown Minneapolis to Richfield and the southern suburbs were established in the early 1900s. And around that time, catalog homes became available, making home ownership possible for Minneapolis’ working-class populations. Small family homes, many models in the Sears Catalog from the 1920s, dominate the housing stock at Longfellow.

Longfellow House

The Longfellow neighborhood was first developed as a residential neighborhood in the 1920s. A prominent type of housing that characterizes Longfellow is Sears Catalog Homes, single-story homes built in that decade. Duplex and single-family homes dating from the 1920s through the 1970s dot the neighborhood. Larger, more modern houses have recently been built in the eastern half of the neighborhood, near the river. Apartments are harder to find at Longfellow. Most are in small buildings, with a few new high-rise apartment buildings near Hiawatha Avenue.

Longfellow residents

Longfellow is primarily a professional, middle-class neighborhood. The available housing, small single-family homes, attracts families and small couples. Because the neighborhood is so close to both urban centers, many people work in downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul. The eastern parts of the neighborhood, near the river, are richer, and the western half, near Hiawatha Avenue and the light rail line, have more working-class residents.

Longfellow Schools

Dowling, Longfellow, and Hiawatha are public elementary schools in the Longfellow neighborhood. Sandford is a high school. There is no high school in the Longfellow neighborhood, but South and Roosevelt High Schools, both a few blocks from the neighborhood’s western border, serve the Longfellow population.

Minnehaha Academy is a private Christian school for children of preschool age through high school.

Longfellow Business

Longfellow is not a shopping destination, but that results in a quieter and more peaceful neighborhood. The main streets of the neighborhood, Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue have banks, pharmacies and other necessities.

The neighborhood’s best-known local business is the Riverview Theater, a restored movie theater that shows second-hand movies and classics at discounted ticket prices. Across from the Riverview Theater is the Riverview Cafe, a popular coffee shop and wine bar. The Fireroast Mountain Cafe is another neighborhood coffee shop, as are Coffee, an Ethiopian coffee shop, and Minnehaha Coffee.

Longfellow Shipping

Longfellow is served by the Hiawatha light rail line, which runs along Longfellow’s western border, connecting downtown Minneapolis, the airport, and the Mall of America. Buses also serve the neighborhood, connecting with downtown Minneapolis, other Minneapolis neighborhoods, and Longfellow is one of the few places other than downtown Minneapolis to catch a bus to St. Paul.

Longfellow is located in downtown Minneapolis, so several highways and major Twin Cities highways, I-35 and I-94 are in close proximity.

The southern end of Longfellow is half a mile from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Longfellow Parks and Recreation

Longfellow’s best known park is Minnehaha Park, home to the famous Minnehaha Falls. Other neighborhood parks, such as Longfellow Park, are very popular with families.

West River Road is very scenic, with a walking and biking trail, and a favorite spot for joggers, walkers, cyclists, dog exercisers, skaters, and skiers.

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