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Hermann Kretz collection

Summary Information
Title: Hermann Kretz collection
Dates: 1890-1953
Creator: Kretz, Hermann, 1860-1931
Extent: 0.5 cubic feet + 1 microfilm reel
Location: Mezzanine
Language: English
Collection Number: N 22
Collection includes one microfilm reel of blueprint plans and photographs of buildings designed by Hermann Kretz.

Repository: University of Minnesota Libraries. Northwest Architectural Archives, Manuscripts Division

Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

Available for use in the Manuscripts Division reading room. Advance notice is requested.


There are no restrictions on the use of materials in this collection. Copies can be requested if the condition of the originals warrants it.

Preferred Citation:

Hermann Kretz collection (N 22), Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis.

Biographical Note

Hermann Kretz was born in Essen, Germany on May 20, 1860. At the age of 19, Kretz went to work for his uncle as an architect, after completing his education at the University of Essen and the Technical School at Holzminden. In about 1880 he immigrated to the United States and worked in New York City, Chicago, Winnipeg, and various other western cities before settling in St. Paul in 1886. Kretz became wealthy not only from his successful architectural practice but from investments in real estate, including the Commerce Building in downtown St. Paul, which he designed and built in 1912. Hermann Kretz died in St. Paul on May 10, 1931.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The papers include one reel of 35 mm microfilm of blueprint plans for two apartment houses in St. Paul, both dated around 1890, designed for Charles Otis. Both sets of plans contain 7 sheets, or frames. There are also two photographs of the Kasota Block and adjacent Northwestern Building in Minneapolis (ca. 1920), five photos forming a panorama of the St. Paul Athletic Club, City Hall & Court House, Globe Building, Commerce Building, and Hotel Lowry (ca. 1953), all in St. Paul, plus a photo of Kretz (n.d.) and specifications for the Commerce Building, St. Paul (ca. 1911).

Related Material

An unpublished finding aid with detailed contents is available in the Manuscripts Division.

Subject Terms
Index Terms
  • This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
  • Kretz, Hermann, 1860-1931 -- Archives
  • Architecture -- Minnesota
Detailed Contents
 Location  Title
Photograph, n.d. 
Note 8"x10" black and white photograph (framed) of Hermann Kretz
Post cards, n.d. 
Note Three post cards, Commerce Building
Photographs, ca. 1920s 
Note Two 8"x10" black and white photographs showing facades of the Kasota Building and the Northwestern Building (Hennepin Avenue and 4th St., Minneapolis)
Panorama, ca. 1953 
Note Five 8"x10" black and white photographs showing the St. Paul (MN) Athletic Club, the St. Paul (MN) City Hall and Courthouse, the Globe Building, Commerce Building, and the Hotel Lowry
Specifications, ca. 1911 
Note "Specifications for construction of a twelve story fireproof office building" [Commerce Building], Southeast corner of Wabasha and 4th Street, St. Paul, MN; designed by and built for Hermann Kretz