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John Wunder collection

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: N230

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of 55 sets of architectural drawings in various media, primarily blueprint and ink-on-linen tracings, for buildings erected by John Wunder in his capacity as general contractor. The buildings are generally commercial or industrial in nature, and none of the many residences built by Wunder are represented here.


  • 1902-1916

Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

The collection is open to the public for research use.

Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection. Copies may be requested if the condition of the materials warrant it.

Biographical Note

John Wunder was a construction contractor in Minneapolis, MN who worked during the late 1890s into the 1930s. What is known about his business is derived chiefly from newspaper articles and the plans in this collection. Wunder built structures designed by many of the prominent architects of the area, including A. L. Dorr, Kees and Colburn, and others.

His works include the Power Plant for the Twin City Street Railway Company at the foot of the St. Anthony Falls on the Mississippi Rive in Minneapolis, the works for the Minneapolis Gas Light Company, on the Mississippi River at Nineteenth and Cedar Avenues, the Forman-Ford building, the residence of E. H. Hewitt, architect, the Moulton-Jordan Motor Garage, and the North Baden Sulphur Springs Sanitorium in Jordan, MN. One article cited his use of the "new" steam shovel in an "experiment" to excavate the basement and footings for the Forman Ford building.

In one article from 1910, printed in the Minneapolis Tribunehe is listed as the Secretary for the Minneapolis Master Builders Association. As well, his name is to be found in many former and current law reviews and textbooks in regard to a case, Groves v. Wunder, that apparently concerned a landowner's suit against Wunder for a breach of contract involving land that had been quarried for gravel and not left in the condition agreed to, according to the plaintiff, S. J. Groves Co.

John Wunder died in Minneapolis ibn July, 1939 at the age of 80. His obituary in the Minneapolis Star, July 1, 1939 states that he "came up the river to [the] City on [a] Packet Boat in 1870," and census data indicates that he was born in Ohio.


31 Cubic Feet


The collection consists of 55 sets of architectural drawings in various media, primarily blueprint and ink-on-linen tracings, for buildings erected by Wunder in his capacity as general contractor.


The collection is organized alphabetically by commission name

Physical Location

High Bay


The collection was donated to the Northwest Architectural Archives in 2005 by Kathy Kardemas.

Processing Information

The collection was processed and the finding aid written by Madeleine Vasaly in 2008.
John Wunder Collection
Madeleine Vasaly
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Northwest Architectural Archives Collecting Area