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Hewitt and Brown papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: N42

Scope and Content Note

The papers include original plans for buildings and residences in Minneapolis, including the Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church (1914) and the Architects and Engineers Building (1920), which housed the Hewitt & Brown offices for many years. Also contained in the collection are photographic reproductions of plans for St. Mark's Episcopal Church (1909); blueprints of plans for the Charles A. Pillsbury residence (n.d.); Northwestern National Life Insurance Company building (1934); and the Gateway Park Pavilion (1913).


  • 1909-1934


Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

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

Restrictions on Use

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

Biographical Note

Edwin Hewitt was born in Red Wing, Minnesota, on March 26, 1874. He was the son of a distinguished surgeon who practiced in the Mississippi River town. Hewitt attended the public schools of Red Wing and went on to Hobart College, Geneva, NY, for a year before returning to complete his college undergraduate work at the University of Minnesota. While at the University, he attended the Minneapolis School of Fine Arts at night and worked in the office of Cass Gilbert during vacations. Following graduation from the University, Hewitt studied for a year at MIT before entering the office of Shepley, Rutan, & Coolidge of Boston. He worked there for three and a half years, then journeyed to Paris where he studied for four years at the École des Beaux Arts. In 1904 he returned to Minneapolis and set up his own practice, and in 1910, he entered into a partnership with Edwin Brown, which lasted until Brown's death in 1930. Hewitt resumed private practice, but his firm languished without Brown's keen business sense and the office closed in the early 1930s. Hewitt was appointed chief architectural supervisor of the Federal Housing Administration for the Minneapolis area (1935-1937). He died in Minneapolis on August 11, 1939.

Edwin Brown was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, on July 27, 1875. He attended Harvard University and graduated in 1896 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He then entered Worcester Polytechnic Institute where he received a S.B. degree. After moving to Minneapolis in 1910, he formed a partnership with Edwin H. Hewitt. During World War I, Brown served in America and Europe in the Red Cross. He returned to Minneapolis after the war to resume his architecture practice with Hewitt. Brown established the Architects Small House Service Bureau in 1920, an organization that eventually became national in scope, which provided architect-produced plans for inexpensive houses that would help alleviate the post-war housing shortage. Brown died on April 21, 1930 in Minneapolis.

Edwin Hewitt and the partnership of Hewitt & Brown were responsible for the design of many important buildings in Minneapolis, including the Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church, Dunwoody Institute, St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, Northwestern Bell Telephone Building, Gateway Park and Arcade, and residences for George Christian (now the Hennepin County Historical Society), E.J. Carpenter, William Bovey and Charles A. Pillsbury.


4.5 Cubic Feet


Collection includes original plans for residences and corporations in Minneapolis, designed by the Hewitt and Brown architectural firm.


The collection is arranged alphabetically by commission name.

Physical Location

Mezzanine; High Bay

Additional Finding Aid

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

Related Material in the Northwest Architectural Archives

John Jager papers (N 21)

William G. Purcell papers (N 3)

Hewitt and Brown papers
Archives Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Collecting Area Details

Contact The Northwest Architectural Archives Collecting Area