West Second Street Residential Historic District
The West Second Street Residential Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. Portions of the content of this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2016, The Gombach Group.
The West Second Street Residential Historic District is comprised of thirteen architecturally significant residences. These houses were constructed in the period of 1857-1890. Most of these residence are in a good state of preservation and are designed in several different styles of architecture. The district is classified into five pivotal houses and eight complementary houses.
The Hastings West Second Street Residential Historic District is significant in its representation of the major architectural styles in vogue in Minnesota between 1850 and 1890. Five distinct styles are represented in the district — two Greek Revival, one Italianate, one Italian Villa, one French Second Empire, and one Octagon. Seven of the residences are simple vernacular houses.
The J.F. Norrish House, West Second and Spring Streets and the Olson House, 414-416 West Second Street, both constructed in 1857, were the first two residences built within the district.
Settlement and building within the area occurred between 1857 and 1890. Hastings' professional and merchant class, among the towns wealthiest and most prominent early citizens were attracted to this area. The individuals who built the houses in this district were instrumental in the early commercial and industrial growth of Hastings.
Charles Strauss, a prominent businessman and wheat farmer, built his French Second Empire styled house in 1875 at 207 West Second Street. The Norrish Octagon house was constructed in 1857 by J.F. Norrish, a dry goods merchant. Prominent physicians Dr. William Thorne and Dr. R. Freeman built houses in the district. The Pringle family, pioneers in Hastings' hardware business built an Italianate house at 413 West Second Street and a Greek Revival house at 418 West Second Street.
Although the majority of residences have been adapted to new uses, the exterior architectural features remain intact. The district continues to represent a well preserved blend of nineteenth century architectural styles.
† Michael Landis, Minnesota Historical Society and Hazel Jacobsen, Hastings resident, West Second Street Residential Historic District, Dakota County, MN, nomination document, 1977, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.