Kretz, Hermann, 1860-1931
feet + 1 microfilm reel
Collection includes one
microfilm reel of blueprint plans and photographs of buildings designed by
Minnesota Libraries. Northwest Architectural Archives, Manuscripts
Access and Use
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.
Hermann Kretz collection (N 22), Northwest Architectural Archives,
University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis.
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).
An unpublished finding aid with detailed contents is available in the
- 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
Hermann, 1860-1931 -- Archives
- Architecture --
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.,
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