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Historic Central School Marketplace is Checkpoint MN Location

Grand Rapids Checkpoint MNThe Historic Central School Marketplace in Grand Rapids, Minnesota has been selected as one of the ten iconic Minnesota locations for the 2016/2017 Checkpoint MN sponsored by Explore MinnesotaCheckpoint MN is a statewide winter scavenger hunt that encourages visitors to travel the state and checking into the ten iconic locations, and then receiving a chance to win thousands of dollars in prizes.

The Historic Central School Marketplace located in downtown Grand Rapids was built in 1895 by Schwartz and Spindler, all from Saginaw, Michigan. The building is designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style which was popularized by Henry Hobson Richardson. This was a very popular style for public buildings in the late 19th century, although quite rare in northern Minnesota at the time it was built.

Central School was the first school in the northern part of the state outside of Duluth to offer high school. It also housed the first library in Grand Rapids, and the District One offices. District One was one of the largest school districts in the U.S., covering all of Itasca County. It housed grades K-8 in 1901, when a new high school was built a few blocks away. The Central School was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the early 1980’s, and presentation prevailed with the passing of a city bond issue.  The restoration cost was about one million dollars. The building is currently owned by the City of Grand Rapids.

The Historic Central School has four main rooms on each of the two main floors, and two of similar size on the lower level which had been used as Winter 2015classrooms. There were also two smaller rooms on the first floor and four on the second floor, which were used as offices, library, storage, and lunch rooms. The south main rooms on each floor had one cloak room each. Those on the north had two each. The basement also had a girls rest room, boys rest room, a furnace room, and a fan room. The attic was originally accessible only by a ladder through a trap door in the ceiling and originally only contained fresh air ducts. During historic renovation, the attic was utilized as additional space through the addition of a back staircase and elevator.

The original roof structure and base for the bell tower are visible in the third floor (the attic). The bell tower was removed sometime prior to WWII for safety reasons. The airplane was built just after Lindberg’s flight in 1927 and mounted on the bell tower, and later where it is now located when the tower was removed. It was restored since because the original “took off” in a wind storm.

So, this Winter don’t hibernate, get outside and have some fun in Minnesota. A winter roadtrip is a great way to explore the state of Minnesota. Check out Checkpoint MN today, and start planning your trips to visit all of them. Make sure that you visit Historic Central School Marketplace in downtown Grand Rapids, Minnesota! Checkpoint MN runs December 15, 2016 through February 12, 2017.